February 05, 2002 10:00 AM

The man accused of stalking “Kate & Leopold” star Meg Ryan and breaking into a Malibu house in search of her last month was ordered on Monday to keep his distance (at least 150 yards) from the actress for at least three years, reports Reuters and other news sources. Ryan, 40, did not attend the hearing at the Santa Monica Superior Court, where judge Alan Haber extended a temporary order imposed in January against alleged stalker John Michael Hughes, 30. Hughes, wearing a yellow jail jumpsuit, acted as his own lawyer Monday and delivered a rambling statement in the courtroom, saying he and Ryan had been married last Nov. 11 in Vancouver, B.C., after her divorce from actor Dennis Quaid. A psychiatrist hired by Ryan’s attorneys testified that Hughes was patently delusional and posed a danger to Ryan’s safety. Asked by Haber if he understood why he was in court, Hughes replied: “My wife is a little upset with an incident we had a few months ago.” According to court papers, on Jan. 6 Hughes broke into a house in Malibu that belonged to a Ryan family unrelated to the actress, and told the owners that he was forced to enter through a window because his wife had forgotten to leave him his key under the doormat. He had reportedly helped himself to food in the family’s kitchen. In a search of his vehicle, police found a magazine with Ryan on the cover, night-vision binoculars and $2,700 in cash, wrapped inside underwear. Ryan’s lawyer Michael Plonsker on Monday described Hughes’s pursuit of the actress as “an unfortunate situation.”

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