Is ESPN Protecting a Nude Erin Andrews Video?

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Deadspin has the story today of secretly filmed video that found its way onto the internet. Shortly after the video went up online, ESPN lawyers contacted the owner of the site with essentially a threat letter. The owner of the site happens to be a friend to Gunaxin, Doug Sheckler from Epic Carnival and on205th, and he has taken the post down as ESPN has demanded. Here is the letter as published at Deadspin:

I am the General Counsel of ESPN, Inc. It has come to my attention that you have posted on your site pictures of a young, blonde woman at http://www.nsfwpoa.com/2009/07/hot-naked-blonde-who-looks-lot-like.html. These pictures were obviously taken through a peephole or otherwise in a fashion constituting a trespass/assault on the rights of the woman involved. Your continued posting of these pictures are highly likely to render you an accessory after the fact to a criminal act. We hereby demand that you (i) immediately remove these pictures from your site and (ii) disclose to us the source of the pictures. We intend to hold you fully responsible for further display of material that so obviously violates the law.

Please confirm by return e-mail that you intend to comply with these demands. In the absence of such confirmation we will assume you are an active and willing participant in these acts.

David Pahl

So I guess the question is, is it Erin Andrews in the video? How did ESPN find it so quick, when the original post makes no mention of them or her. If its not really her, why make a big deal about it? Shouldn’t David have tried to send Doug a pair of autographed Erin Andrews panties first, instead of strong arming him?

EA

** UPDATE **

Since posting this earlier today, the internet has gone crazy with the Erin Andrews videos. Talk about your all-time backfires Mr. Fancy Lawyer Man. Ever heard you catch more flies with honey? When will lawyers learn that threatening e-mails are not the best method for handling a problem. Now lawyers representing Andrews have released a statement, confirming that the video is her:

“While alone in the privacy of her hotel room, Erin Andrews was surreptitiously videotaped without her knowledge or consent. She was the victim of a crime and is taking action to protect herself and help ensure that others are not similarly violated in the future. Although the perpetrator or perpetrators of this criminal act have not yet been identified, when they are identified she intends to bring both civil and criminal charges against them and against anyone who has published the material. We request respect of Erin’s privacy at this time, while she and her representatives are working with the authorities.”

So the ironic part of this? The original video is still online, and very easily found as I type this. The video was uploaded four months ago, and just recently re-posted with a vague description by a blogger. A threatening letter demanding a takedown and revealing of sources is what blew this thing apart, not a blogger. I appreciate that Ms. Andrews is upset about this, and her privacy has been violated, and a crime committed. She is definitely an innocent victim here. However that crime was not committed by a blogger, nor was it magnified by one. The original creator of the video should be held responsible for that, and in my opinion, Mr. Pahl should be terminated for mis-handling the situation.

** UPDATE 2

Our friends over at Don Chavez are filling in more of the details that I eluded to above, and have also done some impressive amateur detective work: What You Don’t Know Yet About The Naked Erin Andrews Hotel Videos

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