“This is kind of my come-out-of-hiding” appearance, she said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” “Why would I not want to be here?”
Indeed. Andrews had not spoken publicly since offering wrenching testimony during her lawsuit, tearfully describing how her life had changed since Michael David Barrett altered a hotel peephole and recorded video of her. Wednesday, she took a moment to thank people who had offered support.
“I want to thank everybody — there were so many people that actually reached out all over the world, really, were so supportive,” she told Kimmel.
Not everyone was kind, though. The video remains available on the internet and has been viewed over 16 million times, which generated commentary that wasn’t all supportive.
“Mean tweets – they’re just a dime a dozen,” Andrews said. “But there were so many nice people that have reached out.”
Kimmel, naturally, had a little joke for Andrews, hitting her up for $1 million. She played it cool with her response, though. “I don’t have any money,” she joked, pointing out that her Fox contract is up and she doesn’t have a new “Dancing with the Stars” deal yet.
As for the $55 million, Andrews may never see much of that. The sum could be reduced or the verdict overturned on appeal. And it is to be paid roughly evenly by her stalker, who is a man of limited means after serving a prison sentence over the incident and by the Marriott at Vanderbilt hotel’s ownership group and the hotel’s owner.
Andrews, who was on assignment for ESPN at the time of the incident, testified to the futility of getting the video removed from the internet.
“I grabbed my laptop and flipped it open and like you know your body, and I saw it for two seconds and was like, ‘oh my god,’ ” she said during her testimony. “…I called my parents. I was just screaming, that I was naked all over the Internet. And I didn’t know what it was. … Probably for three months, everybody thought it was a publicity stunt. That ripped me apart.”
Her father, Steve, testified that, like many victims, his daughter has been changed by the incident.
“She’s terrified. She’s depressed,” he said. “She is not the girl that we used to know.”
She appears to have taken a step toward getting her life back Wednesday night.