Erin Andrews' Life Story Is So Tragic

Erin Andrews has dealt with a few tragic events over her life. Andrews, as you probably know, is one of the most accomplished sports reporters in entertainment. Men's Journal even included Andrews in their 2021 list of "Best Female Sports Reporters." And there's zero doubt about whether or not she's earned her spot. Over her career, Andrews has reported on the entire spectrum of sports for the biggest sports networks, including ESPN and Fox Sports, where she's worked since 2012 covering Thursday Night Football. According to her Fox Sports biography, Andrews kickstarted her sports reporting career in 2000, the same year she graduated from the University of Florida.

Since then, Andrews has been the reporter at the end of some of the most memorable and enthusiastic interviews in sports. And though she's had the pleasure of standing face-to-face with nearly every top athlete, her favorite interviewee is Red Sox player David Ortiz. "Just that smile and it doesn't matter what he says, it's just the smile," Andrews said explaining her reasoning to The Spun. "You know, I did a post-game interview with him after the Red Sox won it all after the Boston bombing. Of course I had to make him reenact the 'this is our bleeping city!' ... So, yeah, Papi is one of my all-time faves."

Despite Andrews' obvious passion and talent for her chosen field, she's also endured some tragic misfortunes during her life.

Nude footage of Erin was leaked

Erin Andrews had nude footage, taken without her consent in 2008, leaked to the internet by her stalker named Michael David Barrett. During the subsequent civil trial, which took place in 2016, Barrett admitted that he stalked Andrews, booked a Marriott Hotel room next to hers, tampered with the door's peephole to record her without clothing, and then tried to sell the footage for a payoff, per Page Six. And when TMZ didn't oblige him, he decided to upload the footage for the masses. Andrews also sued the Marriott Hotel because its employees willingly informed Barrett of her room number when asked. "There's a house phone in the restaurant, so I picked up the house phone and called the operator, asked, 'Can I have Erin Andrews' room?'" said Barrett.

Despite Barrett's admission, Andrews still had to deal with critics who, early in the process, felt that she'd masterminded the release of her own footage. "Erin Andrews didn't need more attention, and she certainly didn't want attention like that," Andrews' father said during the trial as she cried (via The Tennessean). Even after it was proven that Andrews was the victim in the scenario, she had to come to terms with knowing her private footage was on the internet. "I wanted to be the girl next door who loved sports, and now I'm the girl with a hotel scandal. It's on the internet now. It's going to be on the Internet until I die," said Andrews during the trial (via CNN).

The scandal changed her

Ultimately, Erin Andrews won her civil suit against Michael David Barrett and the owner of the Tennessee Marriott, per ABC News, gaining a $55 million payout. However, her financial victory wasn't enough to make up for her emotional wounds. During the civil trial, Erin's father, Steve Andrews revealed that the ordeal had changed her. "She's mad. She's scared. She's terrified," said Steve (via The Tennessean). "She's depressed. She cries. She's full of anxiety. She's a very, very changed person. She's not the girl that we used to know at all."

Later, Erin revealed that having her privacy invaded caused her to question what young girls, who previously looked up to her, thought of her. "I think the thing that's really hits home for me, and hurts me the worst, is when girls, high school or college, they tweet me and say, 'I want to be Erin Andrews. Except for the Marriott stalker thing,'" said Erin (via Sporting News) "And I can't control that."

Unfortunately, Erin hasn't completely healed from the scandal. In February 2023, Andrews recalled her scandal when empathizing with Pamela Anderson's objection to Hulu's unauthorized documentary about her sex tape with Tommy Lee. "It touched me in a certain way because of video voyeurism," said Erin to fellow host Charissa Thompson on their "Calm Down" podcast (via the New York Post). "And one line that resonated with me, because I know you and I both deal with PTSD from this, was that [Anderson] said 'this had never been dealt with before.'"

Erin Andrews lost her 'Dancing With The Stars' gig

Erin Andrews left ESPN in 2012, a few years after her leaked footage scandal. And though she's since found her main gig in Fox Sports, she's also persevered in other on-air jobs, such as her co-hosting gig on "Dancing With The Stars." Andrews joined the long-running dance competition in 2014, per Entertainment Weekly. Unfortunately, ABC fired Andrews, along with Tom Bergeron in 2020, after six years of co-hosting together. And she didn't see it coming. "It was a surprise," said Andrews during an interview with People. "I got a phone call and I answered the phone. I was like, 'This isn't good.'"

In the end, Andrews gained a lifelong friend in Bergeron, but her "DWTS" experience wasn't all positive, even before she was fired. In 2019, Andrews was body-shamed when a "DWTS" viewer publicly lambasted her outfit, consisting of sparkly green pants and a long-sleeved black shirt, and her physique on X, formerly known as Twitter. After Andrews' father stepped up to defend her, Andrews added in her thoughts. "Mary ... I echo what my father just tweeted you. I hope your children are NEVER subjected to such disgusting remarks. Thank goodness my parents taught me how to be kind and spread love! Love you Mom and Dad," tweeted Andrews (via People).

She had a near-death experience

Erin Andrews had a scary brush with death in September 2022. Andrews, while co-hosting her "Calm Down" show, revealed that, as she was en route to interview NFL star Aaron Rodgers  — and on a Zoom call to go over questions — her driver fell asleep at the wheel. "I'm typing, headphones are working, we're good," said Andrews (via People). "I hear snoring. I know it's not Greg Olsen, Kevin Burkhardt or Aaron Rodgers snoring. It's my driver who fell asleep at the wheel. On a highway from Chicago!" Andrews then confronted the snoozing driver and had to juggle making sure he stayed alert while preparing for her interview. "I have full-blown anxiety," continued Andrews. "This is not the way I want to go down. This is not the way I want to die..." 

Fortunately, everything went well, though the experience definitely rattled her nerves. She even offered to buy the driver coffee, though he refused to indulge. Afterward, Andrews found a ton of support on social media regarding her heightened response after news of her near-death experience started to circulate. That's crazy. I would've freaked out too," tweeted one fan. "Om goodness..I don't blame her. What a scary way to go. Wow!" tweeted another fan. Another user tweeted, "This is nuts. Not sure I am just pulling over & getting this driver a coffee. I am pulling over and driving the car myself or getting another car."

Erin was diagnosed with cervical cancer

Erin Andrews was diagnosed with cervical cancer in the fall of 2016, the same year her civil trial made it to court. However, she didn't reveal her diagnosis for over a year, according to her Sports Illustrated interview. This meant that she had to tackle her demanding career while undergoing treatment — including surgery to eradicate the cancerous cells. "Should I have been standing for a full game five days after surgery? Let's just say the doctor didn't recommend that," Andrews revealed. "But just as I felt during my trial, sports were my escape. I needed to be with my crew." Fortunately, Andrews beat her diagnosis.

During a 2018 appearance on "Good Morning America," Andrews revealed that, since her cancer struggles were over, she and her husband Jarret Stoll were looking forward to having a baby. "I didn't have to have a hysterectomy and so I'm fully capable of having a baby," Andrews revealed. "But that is because I went and got tested and because we were able to treat it early, and that is all you need to tell the women in your life." Unfortunately, her conception journey would be more difficult than she thought.

She was unable to conceive her child

So, good news — Erin Andrews and Jarret Stoll are the proud parents to a baby boy, who was born in the summer of 2023, per People. However, it took nearly 10 years for them to have their child due to their fertility struggles and Andrews' cervical cancer diagnosis. Fortunately, their surrogate gave birth to their son, Mack Andrews in June.

According to her interview with Today, Andrews and Stoll suffered through several unsuccessful attempts at IVF in an attempt to get pregnant naturally. However, it never worked out. "I'd call him and be like, 'I'm in the drive-thru of McDonald's again, having a sausage biscuit breakfast sandwich because we just got bad news,'" admitted the reporter. "It was 10 years of hell." And though the couple eventually got their little miracle — who Andrews referred to as their "golden embryo" — his arrival came after their twins didn't make it to term. "We lost twins via surrogacy and that was really hard," revealed Andrews. I really struggled mentally. I didn't handle it very well ... I kind of tried to push it aside and act like everything was okay."

Although she had to walk a difficult path, we're so glad that everything worked out for Andrews and her family.