It's not hard to pin point the worst actor in the whole Erin Andrews peephole video mess. It's Michael David Barrett, the Illinois insurance executive who relentlessly schemed to record nude footage of Andrews so he could sell it for extra cash. The man is a cretin.
But second worst? That's much harder to determine. The mindless enablers who put Barrett in a room next to Andrews so he could carry out his plot have long been the front runners. But now we have a new contender: Andrews' former employers at ESPN.
After the story broke, Andrews said on the stand Monday, ESPN told her she'd have to appear on TV and recount the ordeal before she was allowed back to work.
"Because there wasn’t an arrest, because we didn’t know where this happened, my bosses at ESPN told me, 'Before you go back on air for college football, we need you to give a sit-down interview.' And that was the only way I was going to be allowed back," Andrews said while testifying her $75 million case against the Nashville Marriott where the peephole video was recorded.
The point, apparently, was to have Andrews cry in public to show just how hurt she was, all in an attempt to prove that the tape wasn't some weird publicity stunt. The network even tried to squeeze some ratings out of the interview by pushing Andrews toward ABC's Good Morning America, which, like ESPN, is owned by Disney.
Andrews pushed back and instead gave the interview to Oprah. "I talked to her producers, I told her I didn’t want to do it. But this was the only way I was going to be put back on air, so we went to the Oprah show," she said on the stand.
ESPN declined comment to Deadspin about Andrews allegations and it's not hard to see why. They're likely spinning their wheels trying to figure out how to justify what they did. Forcing a victim to go on television and recount her harassment is pretty low.
When that victim is your employee, who was on a work trip when the crime was committed, it's even lower. And it had consequences. Like the incident in late 2011 when Andrews allegedly caught an ESPN exec masturbating next to her on an airplane and refused to go to HR because of how she was treated in the past.