Shawn Johnson Faces Down Her Stalker
Shawn Johnson is one tough cookie. She impressed us in the 2008 Olympics with her badass gymnastics skills and again when she won “Dancing with the Stars” season 8. But yesterday, we truly had to give it to her for getting up on the witness stand to testify against her stalker, the uber creepy Robert O’Ryan. This engineer believes that Shawn was communicating telepathically with him during the 2008 Olympics. He believed that Shawn loved him and that they would have a child together. When she was on “DWTS,” he drove cross-country from Florida and scaled a fence at CBS studios to try to get to Shawn. When police searched his car, they found a shotgun, a hand gun, a knife, plus zip ties and other cords, which he presumably was planning to tie Shawn up with. He also had love letters he’d written to her, a pile of clippings about her, and a map to her home. Fr. Ea. Ky.Sitting not far from O’Ryan, Shawn remained incredibly composed on the witness stand and avoided making eye contact with him. “He was a stranger to me. To see somebody had that kind of obsession, it made me really scared,” she said. She said that after hearing about the incident, she strongly considered pulling out of “DWTS,” but instead hired a bodyguard. Her agent, Sheryl Shade, testified that Shawn was so terrified that she began sleeping in Shade’s bed to avoid being alone at night.
O’Ryan is on trial for felony stalking and commercial burglary—rather than a jury, a judge will be deciding his fate. Here’s hoping he gets a seriously long time in jail. And I know it just doesn’t work this way with people with serious mental illness, but here’s hoping O’Ryan heard yesterday that Shawn is not at all in love with him and that he has terrorized her.