This season, Erin Andrews asked ABC to tighten security on the "DWTS" set after a media outlet received at least a dozen e-mails threatening the ESPN reporter. The emails, which began in September, were at first sexual in nature. However, the most recent messages were explicitly violent and "threatened Erin with murder," according to Andrews' attorney Marshall Grossman.
The death threats came one month after Michael David Barrett was sentenced to 2½ years in prison for secretly shooting nude videos of Andrews. These new e-mails reference the Barrett case but Grossman said that the man behind the messages appeared to have no ties to Barrett.
The FBI has been notified, Grossman said. He added the man's identity is known to law enforcement and is believed to live on the East Coast. Private security also has been hired to protect Andrews and her family. She has no plans to quit the show.
"She's not the type to be easily threatened," Grossman said. "She has every intention to meet her obligations."
Last year, Olympic gymnast and "Dancing with the Stars" champion Shawn Johnson went through a similar ordeal. On March 25, 2009, while Johnson was competing on the show's eighth season, a man named Robert O'Ryan was arrested for trying to break into the studio where "Dancing with the Stars" is filmed in order to meet her. Loaded guns, duct tape and love letters were found in his car that day, police said.
A court commissioner ordered a three-year restraining order in April 2009, barring O'Ryan from contacting Johnson and her family for three years.