Ashley Benson is pretty freaked out.
The Pretty Little Liars star has secured a temporary restraining order against a 49-year-old man who, according to court documents obtained by E! News, “has admitted that he believes he has been instructed by God to pursue” the actress “romantically.”
“Benson was anxious, worried and fearful when she learned about” his “threatening intentions,” states the TRO petition filed yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
James P. Gorton has been ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from and refrain from contacting the 24-year-old actress pending a hearing to determine whether to extend the order scheduled for July 9.
In a declaration included with the court filing, Benson stated that she was first alerted to Gorton’s actions on June 11 when her manager, Thor Bradwell, showed her a picture of a man and she recognized him as a security guard on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif.
The Spring Breakers actress went on to say, per the declaration, that Bradwell told her that “Gorton has expressed sexual feelings” toward her and “had stated that he is acting under instructions from God to pursue a romantic relationship” with her after falling in love with her “over a year ago” after first seeing her at a coffee shop near the lot.
“I am also told that Mr. Gorton believes that God has spoken to him through my character on Pretty Little Liars,” she added.
Gorton has been forbidden from coming to work on the lot, Benson’s declaration continued, but she remains “concerned and afraid” that he would try to approach her at home or otherwise try to get in touch with her.
Rick Warmack, VP of studio protection for Warner Bros., concurred in an additional declaration that Gorton, a part-time security officer, had told members of his church that he “planned to marry” Benson. Gorton had also told him, Warmack continued, that he and Benson were meant to “spread the Gospel together” and, in Gorton’s words, “‘live happily every after.'”
by Claudia Rosenbaum