Erin Andrews, the ESPN sideline reporter who gained unexpected notoriety due to a peep-hole video, recently taped an interview with Oprah Winfrey set to air on September 11th. The segment will be part of Oprah’s “Summer Headlines” show that previews the talk show’s 24th season.
Andrews says it’s the first and last time she’ll discuss the ordeal surrounding the secretly taped nude footage that was circulated on the internet before eventually being discovered by Andrews in July (it’s not clear when the video was first posted). In the interview she calls the experience “a nightmare,” and says of returning to work in the fall; “it’s really going to help me heal my wounds.”
Andrews has stayed out of the public eye since identifying herself in the footage, taped by an unidentified Peeping Tom through a hole drilled in her hotel room wall. But with fall approaching, she’ll be back in the spotlight. On Thursday, Andrews will be reporting from the sidelines for ESPN’s broadcast of South Carolina at North Carolina State, on air for the first time since the video became widespread news.
It’s an unfortunate trade-off for Andrews: the more widely known she becomes as a sports reporter, the more vulnerable she is to voyeuristic fans and judgmental critics.
Playboy magazine named her “sexiest sportscaster” in both 2008 and 2009. Some Web sites have referred to her as “Erin Pageviews” because of the traffic she can generate. But the reporter’s popularity often leads to coverage of a seedier nature. A blog post on Sports Illustrated’s website blessed Andrews’ little black dress at the ESPY Awards two days before the peephole video surfaced. And a little over a year ago, a blogger posted photos taken of Andrews while working, without her knowledge, and filed them along with sleazy frat-boy commentary. A video on YouTube titled “Erin Andrews’ Bottom” has received over 600,000 views.
As she starts back at ESPN, Andrews will surely continue to deal with attention, wanted and otherwise. She is set to appear in the September issue of GQ photographed in a locker room, wearing muddied shoulder pads and surrounded by equally muddy players. Andrews posed for the photos in April, before she knew about the nude video.