Yikes. 2014 is the year of childhood television show reboots and of celebrity pregnancies, but it figures that it couldn't be full of only good things. We're only six months into the year and we've already had an overabundance of celebrities who had to file restraining orders against stalkers and abusers. The latest in the line is Ashley Benson and she has got a terrifying story. Benson's stalker was "instructed by God to pursue her", according to him, and we can't blame the actress for being more than a little freaked out.
If nothing else, it's certainly an inventive excuse for stalking someone. When most people become obsessed with a celebrity, they usually cite something having to do with the celebrity themselves. Their looks, their films, the way they crinkle their nose when they smile. Being on a mission from God? That's a new one. According to the court filing, Benson's manager, Thor Bradwell, showed her a picture of a man named James P. Gorton and she recognized him as a Warner Bros. security guard. Gorton had expressed "sexual feelings toward her" and stated that he fell in love with her "over a year ago" when he saw her at a coffee shop.
Naturally, Benson filed a restraining order to keep Gorton at least 100 feet away from her at all times and to ensure that he doesn't try to contact her at all, pending a hearing on whether or not to extend the order. Benson is joining the ranks of some other big name celebrities who have needed restraining orders to deal with stalkers of their own in 2014.
In May of 2014, Miley Cyrus obtained a temporary restraining order against a man named Devon Meek who reportedly believed that Cyrus was communicating with him through her songs. There was also a sworn statement claiming that Meek had asked officers to shoot him in the head if he couldn't meet Cyrus. At last reporting, Meek was in a psychiatric hospital because, well, obviously he really needs help.
In late May of 2014, Brad Pitt was attacked on the red carpet by Vitalii Sediuk, a notorious "red carpet prankster" who had pulled such stunts as streaking at a fashion show and hiding under America Ferrera's dress in the past. Pitt was awarded a temporary restraining order against Sediuk, who is currently doing community service while wearing shirts emblazoned with Pitt's face. As one does.
In early June 2014, Sandra Bullock's home was broken into by James Joshua Corbett while she was still there, presumably with her son. The family was asleep at the time and the police rounded up the man quickly, but it was still completely terrifying and only continues to get scarier as more details come to light. Bullock got an emergency protective order against Corbett because, obviously.
In March 2014, Selena Gomez got a stalker as a housewarming present, who made it all the way to her front door and then hid in her guest house after being told that Gomez wasn't home. Even worse, after Che Cruz was arrested, he went back to her house only a few hours after being released from prison. Is it any wonder Gomez got a restraining order against him? Hell, I would want fifty.
In March 2014, Taylor Swift found out that she was married. Yeah. Swift's stalker claimed to be her husband and had been harassing her and her family since 2011. TMZ obtained messages allegedly from Timothy Sweet, one of which read, "If anyone in Taylor Swift’s family gets killed, it is not my fault." Swift's three year restraining order against him really doesn't seem like enough.