Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Patrick feels for naked celeb Andrews

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EDMONTON -- The illicit nude video of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews highlights the problems of celebrity culture in the cyber age, says race car driver Danica Patrick, who believes the time will come when there will be limits on how much of a public figure's private life should be open for all to see.

But that may be some way off.

"I don't think there's getting away from it (the website saturation) right now," Patrick said in an interview Friday on the eve of the Rexall Edmonton Indy. "It's not going to go away any time soon, probably not as long as I'm exposed in public and racing.

"But I would imagine there's going to be a certain point in time where there's probably going to be some sort of rules and enforcement as to the limit and the boundary line for what people are able to do and what they're able to plug into their computer."

That line was clearly crossed when Andrews, a 31-year-old sideline reporter for ESPN, was recently secretly videotaped naked in her hotel room and the images then uploaded to the web.

Patrick, 27, a sporting sex symbol herself, had her own run-in with a cellphone camera last season.

A heated, occasionally four-letter trackside shouting match with rival driver Milka Duno became a YouTube sensation, prompting Patrick to apologize a week later, saying she needs to set a better example for her fans.

"We live in a very imperfect world, but we are all, as celebrities, expected to be more perfect than ever, to not make mistakes, to not say the wrong thing, to not do the wrong thing," she said. "Anything you do is always criticized and looked at."

Patrick made the comments prior to the first practice session for Sunday's Rexall Edmonton Indy.

The native of Roscoe, Ill., is enjoying a strong season with Andretti Green Racing. She is fifth in the overall points standings, 81 points back of leader Dario Franchitti with seven races to go, including the Edmonton event (TSN, 4 p.m. CT).

 

-- The Canadian Press

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 25, 2009 D6

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