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Erin Andrews Gives Tearful Testimony in Stalker Video Case: 'I Can Never Get Rid of It'

by Raphael Chestang 2:45 PM PST, February 29, 2016
Playing Erin Andrews Gives Tearful Testimony in Stalker Video Case: 'I Can Never Get Rid of It'

During emotional court testimony, Erin Andrews broke down in tears on Monday as she detailed how she found out about the nude videos that were secretly taken of her without her knowledge.

"I grabbed my laptop and flipped it open," said Andrews, who learned about the online videos through a phone call. "I saw it for two seconds and I was like, 'Oh my God!' and I shut it down and said, 'I have to call you back,' and I called my parents. I was just screaming that I was naked all over the Internet, and I didn't know what it was."

NEWS: Erin Andrews Struggles Through Tear-Filled First Week in Court

Andrews testified that she was screaming so much on the phone that her father thought she might have been in a car accident.

"I even got a call from the hotel I was staying at because they wanted to know if everything was OK, because I was screaming so loud," she said through tears.

"I just remember crying, and I remember trying to get all of my stuff," she continued. "I got to the airport and standing in the TSA line and just bawling, and I could not believe this was happening. I remember thinking this was just going to blow up and go viral and get really bad."

WATCH: Erin Andrews Cries in Court as Her Father Takes the Stand

Monday marked the first time Andrews took the stand in her $75 million civil trial against West End Hotel Partners and her convicted stalker, Michael David Barrett.

The lawsuit stems from an incident nearly eight years ago in which Andrews was secretly videotaped naked inside of her hotel room at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University.

Barrett pleaded guilty to altering peepholes and secretly shooting videos of the former ESPN reporter in 2009 and was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison.

"It's always there. It's always on my back. I can never get rid of it," Andrews said through tears on Monday.

Shortly after the nude videos went viral, Andrews did an interview with Oprah Winfrey about the scandal. Andrews claimed that she didn't want to give an interview at the time, but went through with it at the urging of her superiors at ESPN.

"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 us a sit-down interview,'" she said. "That was the only way I was going to be allowed back."

"They were highly recommending it be GMA (Good Morning America), because ESPN and ABC are the same and they wanted it on GMA, but like my dad had said the other day, I didn't want it to be a two-second thing," she continued. "No, this is my life and I feel terrible about myself, and we want to figure out how this happened."

Andrews said she chose Winfrey because of her public claims that she had been the victim of sexual abuse in the past.

"I talked to her producers," Andrews said. "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."

ESPN declined to comment on Andrews' remarks.

Once she got to the set of the show, Andrews said that Winfrey made her feel safe, but during the interview broke out in a rash. Andrews said her body never had that kind of reaction before, but that it still happens to her when she gets upset about the video being public.

Previously, Andrews' father, Steven Andrews, was also called to the stand.

WATCH: Why Erin Andrews Is Suing for $75 Million

"I didn't know if she was safe," Steven said last week as Erin wiped away tears. "I didn't know who was doing this. I didn't know if someone was going to hurt her, or even more. After I saw what was happening, I thought, there's a stalker out there that could easily kill her. I was terrified for her safety."

Andrews' mother, Paula, also took the stand on Monday, saying that her daughter has been "different emotionally" after the videos were released.

"If I had a magic wand that would make this go away and make her feel better, I would make a million of them," Paula said.

Andrews agreed that the invasion of privacy took an emotional toll on her.

"I call that my 'glazed over' time," she said. "I just remember being in my pajamas all day ... I put a ton of my mom's quilts up over the window of my room [in my parents' house]. I didn't want to go in my shower, because I felt like you could see in it. I was just really messed up."

In the lawsuit, jurors will have to determine whether West End Hotel Partners, the franchise owner of the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt, was negligent with regard to keeping Andrews reasonably safe.

In its opening, the hotel claimed that it too was a victim of Barrett.

"He deceived, he connived, he stalked -- that's what Mr. Barrett did," lawyer Marc Dedman told jurors.

During his deposition, Barrett claimed that after recording Andrews, he videotaped 10 other women through peepholes at various hotels nationwide. According to Barrett, he chose the women at random.

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