UPDATE (7/12/14): According to TMZ, a judge ordered this guy to stay 100 yards clear of Ashley for three years. But hopefully he takes the hint and just steers clear forever.
Ashley Benson is getting a scary, real-life taste of the stalkee role she plays as Hanna Marin on Pretty Little Liars. The actress took out a temporary restraining order against a man who allegedly "has admitted that he believes he has been instructed by God to pursue" the actress "romantically," according to court documents obtained by E! News.
James P. Gorton, 49, has been asked to stay at least 100 yards away from Ashley and to refrain from contacting her. A hearing is scheduled for July 9 to determine if the order will be extended.
How is Ashley taking all of this? According to the temporary restraining order petition, Ash "was anxious, worried and fearful when she learned about" Gorton’s "threatening intentions.” The documents state that when her manager showed her a photo of Gorton, she recognized him as a security guard from the same Warner Bros. lot where Pretty Little Liars is filmed.
Though it’s unclear what kind of interaction, if any, Ashley has had with Gorton, Ashley’s manager informed her that the man "has expressed sexual feelings" toward her and "had stated that he is acting under instructions from God to pursue a romantic relationship." He reportedly fell in love with the actress "over a year ago" after first seeing her at a coffee shop near the lot. Gorton also reportedly believes that God has spoken to him through the character of Hanna Marin on Pretty Little Liars.
Though Gorton is restricted from coming to work on the Warner Bros. lot, Ashley is apparently still "concerned and afraid" that he might try to approach her elsewhere, warranting the request for a restraining order. We’re glad Ashley’s taking steps to stay and feel safe.
Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on June 24, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.