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21.7.10

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The 32 year-old, also a recent finalist on the latest American "Dancing With the Stars" television series, is suing the multi-million pound hotel chains for negligence, emotional distress and invasion of privacy.

Her $1.2 million (£784,000) lawsuit follows a series of incidents in 2008, in which Michael David Barrett videotaped her naked through their hotel room peepholes before posting the footage on the internet, where they went viral.

It claims hotel management confirmed to Barrett where Miss Andrews was staying, disclosed her room number without permission and then allowed the stalker to stay in adjacent rooms.

According to legal papers tendered last week in the Cook County Circuit Court, Chicago, Barrett, 49, subsequently modified the peephole devices from the hotel doors and secretly videotaped her with his mobile phone.

The divorced father then tried to sell it to TMZ, the celebrity website, who declined.

Barrett then posted the footage online himself. In one video Miss Andrews, one of the sports channel's most high profile reporters, is seen curling her hair naked in front of a mirror.

Several TV networks and newspapers aired clips or printed screen grabs from the videos after they went viral online.

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In March, Barrett, a former insurance executive, was jailed for two and half years after admitting a series of stalking charges.

The Federal Court in Los Angeles was told Barrett, of Westmont, near Chicago, had contacted 14 hotels in total, asking for Miss Andrews' reservation information.

He then rented hotel rooms next to her in three American cities before altering the peepholes so he could see the sports reporter.

The court heard that he filmed her in only two locations, the first in Columbus, Ohio, in February 2008, then again in Nashville, Tennessee, seven months later. He did not film her while she stayed at an airport hotel in Milwaukee.

Prosecutors said Barrett posted as many as 10 videos to the internet.

In a statement issued through her lawyers, Miss Andrews, who mainly covers college sports, said she hoped the lawsuit would force the hotels to be more vigilant with their check in procedures.

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She has said the incident had left a "devastating impact" on her and her family.

"I've filed this lawsuit to hold accountable those who put my personal safety at risk, who allowed my privacy to be invaded while I was a guest at their hotel … for actually stalking me and making my most personal moments public," she said.

"Although I'll never be able to fully erase the impact that this invasion of privacy has had upon me and my family, I do hope that my experience will cause the hospitality industry to be more vigilant in protecting its guests."

Also named in the suit are seven hotels affiliated with Marriott International and Radisson Hotels International as well the Ohio State University and Summit Hotels & Resorts.

She is also suing Barrett for "severe and permanent emotional distress".

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The hotel groups declined to comment. Barratt has said he is "penniless".

Miss Andrews started with ESPN in 2004, covering the NHL Ice Hockey Stanley Cup Finals before expanding her roles to Major-league baseball and later college sports.

Earlier this month she signed a new multi-million pound contract, which will involve her also becoming a regular contributor to "Good Morning America", the morning breakfast programme on the ABC Television network.

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