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ESPN reporter sues hotels over peephole tapings

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CHICAGO – ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, who was secretly videotaped nude while staying at hotels, filed a lawsuit on Thursday against seven hotels and the suburban Chicago man who admitted making the tapes.Andrews filed the suit against the hotels for negligence and invasion of privacy, about seven months after Michael David Barrett of Illinois pleaded guilty to interstate stalkingin federal court in Los Angeles.Andrews’ lawsuit alleges the hotels confirmed where Barrett was staying and gave out her room number without her permission.Andrews, who was recently a contestant on the ABC show Dancing With The Stars, is asking for more than US$1.2 million from the hotels and Barrett for “severe and permanent emotional distress”, according to the complaint.Barrett pleaded guilty in December to renting hotel rooms next to Andrews in three cities, altering the peepholes and shooting videos in two locations – in Columbus, Ohio, in February 2008, and in Nashville, Tennessee, seven months later. Prosecutors accused him of contacting 14 hotels asking for Andrews’ information.He was accused of posting the videos online and trying to sell them to Los Angeles-based celebrity gossip site TMZ last year.Barrett was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in March.Along with Barrett, the complaint named Marriott International Inc., West End Hotel Partners LLC and Nashville Marriott At Vanderbilt University, Windsor Capital Group Inc., Radisson Hotels International Inc., Ashtel Inc. and Radisson Hotel Milwaukee Airport, Ohio State University and The Blackwell Inn, and Preferred Hotel Group Inc. and Summit Hotels & Resorts. (AP)