Olympian’s Stalker Testifies He Heard Voices, Used Telepathy


The alleged stalker of Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson began hearing her voice in his head while watching the Beijing games, he said in a taped interview that was played today in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Robert M. O’Ryan, 34, is facing one count each of felony stalking and felony commercial burglary, and two misdemeanor counts of carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle in a city. The charges stem from a 2009 incident in which O’Ryan jumped a fence at CBS Studios, where Johnson was taping an episode of the television show “Dancing with the Stars.”

In a taped interview made with L.A. detectives, O’Ryan said that he could communicate with celebrities using telepathy, that he had children with both male and female celebrities, and that President Obama had told him that they’d known one another in a past life.

He made the trip to Los Angeles, from his home in Florida, after hearing the voices of Johnson and her friends through both the television and through ESP; the voices “had me convinced we were married…and she was pregnant.” O’Ryan also claimed to have heard the voices of rappers Ludacris and Little John, television personality Steve O and the host of “Dancing with the Stars,” Tom Bergeron.

O’Ryan was arrested after scaling the security fence at the Wilshire television studio, and police found a loaded handgun and shotgun in his car. He also had zip ties, duct tape, a knife and love letters he had written to the gold medalist.

A temporary restraining order was issued, requiring O’Ryan to stay 500 feet away from both Johnson and the CBS studio. He was also detained and held on $220,000 bail.

O’Ryan has pleaded both not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. He faces up to four years in state prison, and an additional two year in Los Angeles County Jail, if convicted on the charges against him.

Johnson, 18, testified in court that when she learned O’Ryan was armed, she considered bowing out of “Dancing with the Stars,” the ballroom dancing competition show that she eventually won. She expressed her fear while speaking in the Los Angeles courtroom.

“He was a stranger to me. To see somebody had that much kind of obsession, it made me really scared,” said Johnson. She also testified that she had hired bodyguards after O’Ryan’s arrest.


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