Justin Hartley is opening up about the moment a fan got too close.
The This Is Us actor, who stars as actor Kevin Pearson on the NBC drama, told GoodHousekeeping.com that he was out to dinner in a Chicago restaurant with friends when a female fan began kissing him without his consent.
“I’m not afraid to say this, because I think she should be ashamed of herself,” Hartley, 41, told the outlet about the woman, who he claims was “old enough to be drinking a lot.”
“This woman — who I don’t know, a stranger to me — recognized me and started screaming, going crazy,” said Hartley. “She ran over and started kissing me.”
Hartley said he backed away from the woman and instructed her to also move away. “I said, ‘You do not walk up to people that you do not know and put your mouth on their face. If I did that to you, I would be in prison. Please do not do that. And not that I’m trying to teach you life lessons, but I feel like this is a really good one for you. Don’t do that to anybody ever again,” Hartley said.
After the alleged encounter, Hartley said “everything calmed down” — until she came up to him again and asked for a photo.
“I said, ‘I’m good,'” Hartley said. “I’m usually really good with photos, but I’m, like, ‘I’m not taking photos with you after you sexually harassed me. I’m good without a photo.’ ”
Evidently angered with his decline, Hartley recalled the woman said as she was leaving, ” ‘Justin Hartley is a jerk,’ but not really jerk – something more foul.”
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Asked if his life has changed since the success of the hit NBC series, Hartley said he definitely gets recognized more often.
“It’s wonderful, because you get to do these charity events and you actually get to raise money for good causes and things like that, so that’s the good part of it,” he said. “People recognize you, and they’re really nice to you.”
Hartley explained that he was recently at one such charity event when a woman standing next to him did a double-take.
“She was standing right next to me, and she made this [shocked] face — I thought she was going to tackle me, “he said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is amazing. She really likes me.’ I was feeling pretty good about myself.”
The woman began showering Hartley with compliments — “She starts telling me how great I am and how in love with me she is, and it’s really great” — until she suddenly dropped the first hint of the glorious mixup.
“She asks me how Blake [Lively] was — I didn’t know what she was talking about, so I just said, ‘Great!’ ” he said. “Then she asked me if I knew Deadpool was going to be that big of a hit.”
“So I was insulted for half a second, and then I even felt better about myself,” he continued. “I didn’t have the heart to tell her it wasn’t him, so for five minutes I just pretended like I was the coolest guy on earth, Ryan Reynolds. Then on my way out the door I caught her — I wanted to give her one last wave and she just was staring death at me. Somebody told her.”
This Is Us Returns for season 3 this fall on NBC.