LSU gymnastics star Olivia Dunne made the decision to no longer attend classes in-person after a threat she received on the Baton Rouge campus from an apparent stalker, who threatened to “shoot up” the university’s grounds.
The 21-year-old senior — who is the NCAA’s highest-earning female athlete, making seven figures — recalled the “scare” and explained that it was unlike any other message she’s received from her millions of social media followers.
“I had a scare once with a message that I got about a class I was going to, and I was like, you know what, it’s not worth it,” Dunne said in a phone interview with NJ Advance Media last month. “It was a threat. It seemed like they knew where I was at and what class, and I just decided better (to be) safe than sorry.”
Dunne received death threats on Instagram on Dec. 2, 2021, from an apparent stalker who threatened to “shoot up” the LSU campus, the paper reported, citing an LSU Police report.
“(Dunne) added that due to her large social media following … she was used to getting strange messages from unknown accounts but has not received a message of this nature before,” the police report states.
LSU Police launched an investigation, but no arrest was made in the case, according to NJ Advance Media, which said Dunne blocked the account on Instagram.
Another incident took place on the LSU campus two months later.
LSU gymnastics head coach Jay Clark called the police when an unidentified man was seen inside the team’s facility watching the gymnasts on Feb. 9, 2022, according to a separate police report.
Three men were seen in surveillance footage walking around the exterior of the building prior to the unknown male making entry, the outlet reported.
No charges were filed in that instance.
Dunne previously discussed concerning messages she received on social media, where she has over 12 million followers on TikTok and Instagram combined.
The New Jersey native told the “Today Show” in January that the university went to the police in 2022 over an incident.
“Yeah there are some people occasionally that do reach out and it is a bit concerning,” Dunne said at the time.
That came a few weeks after she made headlines when a massive crowd of screaming male fans showed up at the Tigers’ season opener against Utah in Salt Lake City.
As a result of the large crowd presence — some male fans held signs asking Dunne for her hand in marriage — she said LSU implemented more security to travel with the gymnastics team.
In July, she told Elle magazine that she takes all of her classes online for safety reasons.
“I love getting to know the people that follow me and what I do, so I always try to say hi to everybody I can that recognizes me when I’m out in public and I always try to take a picture,” Dunne said. “But this past year, it’s been a bit crazy.”
Dunne — who’s dating Paul Skenes, the No. 1 overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2023 MLB Draft — is focused on enjoying her senior year at LSU.
“This past year has been a bit crazy,” she said. “I deserve to enjoy this last year.”
Dunne also said she is in talks to have a media role at the Olympics next summer, but wouldn’t elaborate further as details are being finalized.
LSU will begin its season in early January, and Dunne wants to help the Lady Tigers win its first NCAA team title in gymnastics.