“This incident has been blown into something it was not,” Peskind said in a statement released by the law firm representing the defendants (via the Tennessean.com). “I would never disrespect Ms. Andrews and what she has been through. This is a very unfortunate situation that should not be a reflection on West End Hotel Partners or to our commitment to the issues in this case surrounding what happened to her. I sincerely apologize for my participation in what happened.”
A bartender at the restaurant told WSMV that it was Peskind who played the video and that he and his friends were mocking her.
“He said it was costing him millions, so he was going to show it to everyone. His friends were making fun of her and her body,” the bartender wrote on Twitter, according to WSMV. “We had to ask him to stop. It was disgusting and horrifying.”
The bartender later deleted her allegations, according to the Tennessean.
Andrews is seeking $75 million in damages after a four-minute video of her nude was taken by Michael David Barrett, who stalked her in 2008 and filmed her while she was in Nashville covering a Vanderbilt game for ESPN. Andrews, who now works for Fox and ABC, contends that the hotel owner, West End Hotel Partners, and manager, Windsor Capitol Group, allowed Barrett to stay in the room next to hers. Marriott International was originally a defendant in the civil lawsuit, but a Tennessee judge dismissed her claim against the hotel company, saying it was not responsible for a franchisee’s security. Andrews is seeking damages from Barrett, hotel management and Windsor Capital.
The trial began Monday and, on Tuesday and Wednesday, Andrews grew emotional as she described the impact of the video, which has been viewed millions of times online, on her life. The defense countered that her career actually was helped by the video. Barrett was arrested in 2009 and served 30 months in federal prison.
Peskind testified Monday that the ownership group should not be liable for giving Andrews’s room number to Barrett.