Actress Gets Restraining Order Against Guard
LOS ANGELES (CN) - "Pretty Little Liars" star Ashley Benson has secured a temporary restraining order against a Warner Bros. security guard she claims was stalking her on the studio lot.
In a June 17 declaration, Benson, 24, claims that she discovered that James Gorton, 49, had said that he believed God wants him to pursue her.
The Superior Court granted a temporary restraining order against Gorton that prohibits him from going within 100 yards of Benson, her home, workplace or her vehicle. According to the notice, Warner Bros. has placed Gorton on leave and barred him from the studio lot in Burbank.
"For over a year, Gorton seemingly tried to arrange 'chance' encounters with Benson," the notice states.
Benson says she learned that Gorton was stalking her after her manager, Thor Bradwell, showed her a picture of Gorton, and she recognized him as a Warner Bros. security guard.
"Mr. Bradwell informed me that Mr. Gorton had made statements to several people that he is in love with me and believes that we are in a romantic relationship. Mr. Bradwell told me that Mr. Gorton has expressed sexual feelings toward me and stated that he is acting under instructions from God to pursue a romantic relationship with me. Mr. Bradwell told me that Mr. Gorton has stated that he has been in love with me since he first observed me at Priscilla's Coffee and Tea, a coffee shop near the Warner Bros. lot, over a year ago. I am told that Mr. Gorton has since observed me on multiple occasions at Priscilla's, and has also observed me near the 'Pretty Little Liars' set and elsewhere around the Warner Bros. lot. I am also told that Mr. Gorton believes that God has spoken to him through my character on 'Pretty Little Liars,'" the court filing states.
Benson says she recalls "one casual greeting" with the security guard at the coffee shop. Gorton's "intentions toward me make me very nervous and afraid for my safety," she adds.
"I am worried that Mr. Gorton might follow me around, approach me and potentially harm me. It scares me to realize that Mr. Gorton has been able to observe me at Priscilla's and on the Warner Bros. lot," Benson says.
Her filing includes a declaration from Warner Bros. vice president Rick Warmack. The executive, a former law enforcement officer, says that Gorton told him that other people working on the set of "Pretty Little Liars" had given him "signals" to let the security guard know they were aware of his "relationship" with the actress.
"Mr. Gorton said that, when he is stationed at various locations on the Warner Bros. lot, these people driving by in golf carts or vans will give him a 'thumbs up' or hold up two fingers, which Mr. Gorton believes is their acknowledgment that he and Ms. Benson are like two people together," Warmack states. "This purported knowledge is communicated without speaking off the Warner Bros. lot as well. Mr. Gorton told me that he had taken his wife to dinner at the restaurant 'Spago' in Beverly Hills for her birthday, when he saw another actor on a different, unrelated Warner Bros. show, who Mr. Gorton believes gave him a look that he interpreted as support for Mr. Gorton and Ms. Benson's 'relationship.'"
A hearing is scheduled for July 9 in Superior Court.
Benson is represented by Linda Burrow with Caldwell Leslie & Proctor.