ESPN anchors Molly Qerim, Malika Andrews, and Stephen A. Smith have successfully obtained a three-year restraining order against an alleged stalker who is said to have a disturbing fixation on the network stars. Ahmed Abubakar, a 41-year-old internal medicine physician from New Jersey, has been named in a workplace violence restraining order that was filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Abubakar had recently attempted to confront Andrews at ESPN's Southern California studios.
This recent ruling comes after Andrews filed a temporary restraining order last month, seeking protection not only for herself but also for her fiancé, ESPN NBA reporter Dave McMenamin, and Smith's sister, Sumatra Hawkins, who is also an ESPN employee. ESPN's attorney requested that Abubakar remain 100 yards away from Qerim, Andrews, and Smith, a request to which he agreed on Friday.
Abubakar has been accused of various disturbing actions, including trespassing at Qerim's residence in Connecticut. The network claims that he poses an imminent threat not only to the hosts themselves but also to ESPN. In legal filings obtained by DailyMail.com, Abubakar is accused of sending obscene and threatening messages to the ESPN hosts over social media platforms.
One of the messages allegedly sent to Qerim contained highly offensive language and wished harm upon her. Additionally, Abubakar shared a photograph taken near ESPN studios in Los Angeles, raising concerns about his proximity to the network's premises. Andrews reveals that she began receiving these disturbing messages in September of 2022, while Qerim states that her contact with Abubakar started a year earlier.
Among his online posts, Abubakar directly referenced Smith and warned him that he was being watched at his Los Angeles office. Although Smith and Qerim host their show, First Take, at ESPN's Manhattan studio, the mention of Smith specifically raises additional concerns.
Abubakar is currently facing charges related to harassment, physical threats, and trespassing, stemming from an alleged confrontation with Qerim in Connecticut. A hearing for this case is scheduled for December. ESPN anchors Qerim, Andrews, and Smith can now breathe a little easier knowing that the restraining order has been granted.