A Chicago woman is suing Hilton Worldwide for $100 million after she said a hotel employee took nude footage of her without her knowledge or consent and posted it online. The alleged perpetrator also sent the footage to the woman’s colleagues and repeatedly attempted to extort her with it, the suit alleges.
The woman, identified only as Jane Doe in the suit, told Good Morning America that the culprit had used a hidden camera to film her in the shower while she was staying at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Albany, New York, in 2015. She said she’d been completely unaware of the intrusion, however, until this September when she received an email with a link to a pornographic website where the video had been uploaded. The title of the video was the woman’s full name, she alleges.
“I click on it and I see my face and profile in a bathroom and I start screaming,” the woman told GMA. “It was devastating on kind of a cellular level because I didn’t know ... I had no clue, I had no context for this.”
“My initial reaction was, ’Your life is absolutely ruined, people are going to see this, they are going to see you naked and they are going to assume things,’” she added.
The woman said her nightmare had only just begun. She soon received more emails from the same email address demanding that she send over explicit footage of herself. If she complied, the emailer promised to “disappear and remove the videos forever before they get copied on every website.”
When she didn’t respond, the suspect instructed the woman to pay $2,000 up front and then $1,000 a month for a year, the suit alleges. After she failed to pay, she said the alleged extortionist emailed the video to her colleagues and posted it on at least a dozen pornographic websites, NBC News reported.
The woman’s attorney, Roland Christiansen, said all evidence suggests an employee of Hampton Inn or “someone with direct access to the rooms” is the perpetrator in the case.
Christiansen told GMA that he knows of at least one other hidden camera video of another guest in the same room as his client.
We “have reason to believe there is a significant amount of others and that this room that my client stayed in was used repeatedly to film people over an extended period,” Christiansen said.
A spokesman for Hampton Inn and Suites Albany-Downtown told AP that they were shocked by the allegations detailed in the suit. No recording devices were found during a recent renovation of the property, the rep said, but stressed the hotel would work closely with authorities to find the suspect.
Hilton Worldwide, which owns Hampton Inn, said in a statement that it was committed “to supporting the independent ownership and management of the property as they investigate, respond, and cooperate with any law enforcement investigations.”