Here's what we know for sure: On Tuesday, just hours after sportscaster Erin Andrews broke down at the stand while testifying about the long-term damage she suffered from the video recorded without her knowledge by a stalker at the Nashville Marriott, a representative of the hotel walked into a nearby restaurant and sat down at a table with a couple of friends. Soon after, the leaked recording of a naked Andrews began to play.
Why, exactly, remains a matter of debate. Ask the representative Neal Peskind and his legal team, and they’ll tell you that he quickly “objected” to the sight of the video, asking his friends to shut it off “immediately.”
Ask the server who was present, however, and you’ll hear something else. In a tweet that has since been deleted, the server claimed that Peskind said the video "was costing him millions so he was going to show it to everyone. [Peskind's] friends were making fun of her and her body."
“We had to ask him to stop. It was disgusting and horrifying," she continued.
At the courthouse on Wednesday, Peskind shrugged off responsibility for the incident. Asked if there was any truth to the story that he had shown the video to associates the prior evening, Peskind uttered only four words: "No. That is incorrect." He said no more as he walked away from reporters.
But later that day, Peskind released a more detailed statement after consulting lawyers about what exactly happened, confirming that someone at the table had played the video for an extended period of time:
I was at a private dinner meeting with friends. They brought up the allegations and they started viewing the video. I asked them to stop, and while they did so, it was not as quickly as I had hoped. This incident has been blown into something it was not. I would never disrespect Ms. Andrews and what she has been through ... I sincerely apologize for my participation in what happened.
Peskind’s Marriott is currently being tried for negligence, as it let Andrews’ stalker stay in the room next to hers, from which he altered a peephole and recorded the video, later unleashing it on the Internet.
Last Friday, a computer expert testified that the video had been played nearly 17 million times since it was first posted online -- and no matter if the play button was pushed by Peskind or by his friends on Tuesday, it’s truly unfortunate that thanks to his table at the Margot Café and Bar, that tally climbed to about 17,000,001.