Celebrity Stalkers: The All-Time Worst

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Almost a million and a half people are stalked every year, but it is the celebrity cases that make the news. Sometimes fame comes with a price. And sometimes that price comes in the form of a crazy person believing they are in a relationship with you and/or stalking your every move to get closer to you.
Here is a list of some of the most obsessive stalkers that celebrities have had to deal with over the years.
Richard Gere
Stalked by: Ursula Reichert-Habbishaw (51 year-old mother of four kids ages 16 to 22)
What did she do? Reichert-Habbishaw contacted Gere phone, fax and email around 1,000 times and showed up at his Greenwich Village office at least 6 times.
Why? She’s quoted as saying: “I want to be with you and share your life.”
Result: She got out of any jail time by taking the next plane home to Germany but added extra drama by fainting outside the courtroom when cameramen approached her.
Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Love Hewitt
Stalked by: Diana Napolis
What did she do? Napolis threatened to violently confront Spielberg at a movie premiere and stalked Hewitt at various events yelling at her and calling the actress a murderer.
Why? She believed Hewitt, Steven Spielberg and other prominent Hollywood figures were part of a powerful satanic cult bent on controlling the minds of America’s youth. In defense of accusations of harassment by Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Napolis alleged that the couple had implanted a microchip (a “soul catcher”) into her brain. The judge didn’t budge on the claim.
Result: She was put on probation, was ordered to take her psychiatric medications and to stay away from Spielberg and Hewitt for at least 10 years.
Gwyneth Paltrow
Stalked by: Dante Michael Soiu (51 year-old pizza deliveryman from Ohio)
What did he do? In 2000, Soiu sent her 5 letters a day, packages of pornography, flowers, candy and pizza and showed up at her parent’s house multiple times.
Why? He was declared legally insane at the trial.
Result: He was committed to a high-security psychiatric hospital in California as a result of Paltrow’s testimony that she was “very fearful” of him.
Halle Berry
Stalked by: Greg Broussard (40 year-old Louisiana native who claimed to be a Navy SEAL)
What did he do? God apparently told him to marry the actress so he sent numerous letters stating that although he “didn’t want to hurt anybody,” he would do anything to get to the actress. He also sent an engagement ring and other inappropriate gifts.
Why? God said so and she came to him in his dreams
Result: Berry got a restraining order preventing him from coming within 100 yards of Berry and two of her bodyguards. Broussard had a past of odd behavior like being arrested for “grabbing” himself in public and his own mother called the cops on him in 2001 when he refused to take his medication for a chemical imbalance.
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Stalked by: Dawnette Knight (32 year-old who planned on becoming a child psychologist)
What did she do? In 2004, Knight sent threatening letters and described in one how she would “cut Zeta-Jones into little pieces and feed her to the dogs.” She also knew the name of their nanny and the layout of their house.
Why? Knight got it into her head that she loved Catherine’s husband Michael Douglas and set out to get rid of the wife.
Result: Zeta-Jones nearly had a nervous breakdown and Knight was sentenced to three years in jail.
Mel Gibson
Stalked by: Zack Sinclair (34 year-old drifter from Idaho)
What did he do? In 2004, he sent multiple letters to Gibson and showed up at his house and church in attempts to pray with the actor.
Why? He was obsessed with Gibson when he directed The Passion of the Christ.
Result: Sinclair was sent to a secure psychiatric facility and given a maximum three-year jail sentence.
Janet Jackson
Stalked by: Robert Gardner (46 year-old long term stalker)
What did he do? According to Jackson, he stalked her for nine years, sent her multiple messages, showed up at random events like the 2004 trial for her brother Michael and a Saturday Night Live rehearsal. At the rehearsal, he was caught in possession of a box cutter and a knife.
Why? He believed the two were in a relationship.
Result: Jackson was granted a three-year restraining order.
Hilary Duff
Stalked by: Maksim Myaskovskiy (18 year-old from New York)
What did he do? He threatened to harm Duff at a 2006 event she was to attend and showed up at her mom’s house and her then boyfriend Joel Madden’s house. He stated his intention to buy a weapon and engage in dramatic actions to get her attention.
Why? He was “obsessed” by her and Madden stood in the way of them being together.
Result: Myaskovskiy was sentenced to 117 days in jail and five years probation.
Jodie Foster
Stalked by: John Hinckley (now 53)
What did he do? He moved near her when she went to Yale University and slipped poems and messages under her door. After that didn’t work, he decided on a plot to assassinate the president to get her attention. Hinckley went for Jimmy Carter first but got arrested and in 1981 fired 6 shots at the newly elected Ronald Reagan, hitting him with one that ricocheted of the limo.
Why? Hinckley became obsessed with the movie Taxi Driver in 1976 where Foster plays a child prostitute and wrote that the shooting was “the greatest love offering in the history of the world” and was upset that Foster didn’t reciprocate his feelings.
Result: Hinckley was arrested at the scene of the shooting and to this day is at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington D.C.
Sheryl Crow
Stalked by: Ambrose Kappos (38 year-old)
What did he do? He tried to approach Crow after a 2003 concert but she was rushed away into her limousine. He also called Crow’s sister and told her that God was speaking to him and asked to speak to Sheryl but hung up when he was denied.
Why? Kappos identified himself as Crow’s “spiritual twin.”
Result: Kappos was found innocent of stalking Sheryl Crow and said, “This could have been better handled if it was recognized for what it was–an honorable man trying to court a good woman, and a simple ‘no thank you’ from her or her duly or authorized agents would have been satisfactory.”
Anna Kournikova
Stalked by: William Lepeska (40 year-old)
What did he do? He swam naked toward her Miami Beach estate in 2005 but was arrested when he got out onto the pool deck of the wrong house. While being arrested he shouted, “Anna! Save me!” Lepeska also bombarded the tennis player with sexually explicit letters and emails, has “Anna” tattooed on his right bicep and once followed Anna across America to L.A.
Why? “I thought Anna possibly had some sincere regard for me,” he said. He also had been previously obsessed with Mel B of the Spice Girls for five years. “But finally I said, the heck with her, moving on to greener pastures”.
Result: Lepeska was ordered mentally unfit to stand trial and was ordered to spend six months in a treatment facility in Florida.
Pamela Anderson
Stalked by: William Peter Stansfield (29 year-old from Newcastle, England)
What did he do? Anderson reported that Stansfield harassed her, her sons (even showing up at their school) and other family members for more than a month. The apparently homeless Stansfield randomly showed up at stores that Anderson frequented as well as around her neighborhood.
Why? Stansfield claims he wanted the “Baywatch” beauty to star in a movie he had written for her.
Result: Anderson was granted a three-year restraining order.
John Lennon
Stalked by: Mark David Chapman (now 53 year-old The Catcher in the Rye fan)
What did he do? On the morning of December 8, he bought a copy of The Catcher in the Rye and signed it as his “statement.” Chapman then hung out around the entrance of The Dakota apartment building where Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono lived and waited. Lennon signed a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman earlier in the evening and when Lennon arrived back to the building around 10:49 pm, Chapman fired five shots at him – four of which hit Lennon’s back and shoulder.
Why? “At that point, my big part won, and I wanted to go back to my hotel,” Chapman said. “But I waited until he came back.”
Result: Chapman was sentenced to 20 years and has been at Attica State Prison ever since charged with second-degree murder. He has been denied parole five times.
Uma Thurman
Stalked by: Jack Jordan (37 year-old who had a crush on Thurman since high school)
What did he do? He repeatedly visited her house and even though he was never invited in, he believed that he might be sooner or later. Jordan tried to get to her trailer on the set of a film and passed her a bizarre card that said, “my hands should be on your body at all times.” He also sent Thurman a picture of a bride with her head torn off and a drawing of a stick figure standing on top of a razor blade.
Why? He believed that they should be together.
Result: He ended up being sentenced to three years probation and told to stay away from Thurman.
Jerry Lewis
Stalked by: Gary Benson (57 year-old)
What did he do? He pursued Lewis for years until he was sent to prison in 1995 for threatening to kill Lewis and his family. When he got out of prison, he sent Lewis a note saying, “Dear Jerry, Your Dead. Your friend, Gary Benson.”
Why? Benson was diagnosed as schizophrenic and was “periodically seized without warning by unpredictable homicidal decisions and impulses.”
Result: He served 4 years of a six-year jail term and went back to jail after violating probation only to be found dead from heart disease in his cell in 2001.

Erin Andrews
Stalked by: Michael David Barrett (an Illinois insurance executive)

What did he do? Stalked Andrews on road trips and secretly filmed her through the keyhole of her hotel room, then put the nude pictures of her on the Internet.

Why? As Erin eloquently stated, “You violated me and you violated all women,” and “You are a sexual predator, a sexual deviant and they should lock you up.”

Result: U.S. District Judge Manuel Real said he gave Barrett the maximum sentence under the law. Sentenced to 30 months in prison. “The victim, Andrews, will be suffering with this problem for the rest of her life,” Real said. “There is no life sentence that can be imposed upon him, except his own guilt.” He will not be allowed to stay in a hotel without approval of a probation officer and if he accepts employment somewhere, Andrews will be notified. Barrett was also ordered to pay $5,000 in fines and $7,366 in restitution, but the judge said further restitution may be imposed to compensate ESPN.

George Harrison
Stalked by: Cristin Keleher (self-employed musician)

What did she do? In 1999, 27-year-old Keleher broke into his Maui home, did some laundry, and ate his pizza.

Why? Harrison had been the object of Keleher’s stalker fantasies for years.

Result: She eventually served four months in prison for burglary and theft after the prosecution said she had been stalking Harrison for years. She was released in August 2000. She was found dead in 2006 after being the victim of an apparent murder-suicide in California.

Also Stalked by: Michael Abram (a 34 year old father of two)

What did he do? Just weeks after Ms. Keleher was found in his Hawaii home, Harrison was seriously injured after being stabbed by Abram at his British mansion at Oxfordshire. He recovered from the attack.

Why? Abram’s mother said her son “hates the Beatles and even believes they are witches and takes their music seriously.”

Result: He was found not guilty of the attempted murder of former Beatle George Harrison and his wife Olivia, by reason of insanity. The Judge ordered that Abram be detailed at a secure hospital indefinitely. After his 2 day trial, Abram was taken to The Scott Clinic in St Helens for treatment.

Brad Pitt
Stalked by: Athena Rolando (a wannabe actress)

What did she do? Broke into Brad Pitt’s L.A. house in 2000 and was found wearing his clothes and carrying a voodoo doll. A judge issued Pitt a protective order against Rolando, but she violated it by sending him chocolates and flowers.

Why? She was a lovesick teen stalker.

Result: Rolando was only sentenced to three years probation, and hasn’t been heard from since.

David Letterman
Stalked by: Margaret Mary Ray (a schizophrenic)

What did she do? Began sending letters to the talk show host in 1988 and repeatedly broke into his home. Letterman and his now wife, Regina Lasko, once woke up to find Ray staring at them from the hallway, and he first learned of her obsession when Ray stole his Porsche from his driveway.

Why? Schizophrenia

Result: Ray was arrested in 1988 for joyriding with her 3-year-old son in David Letterman’s stolen Porsche. It was the first of eight arrests on trespassing and similar charges levied against the schizophrenic mom. The stalker was sentenced to 10 months in prison for harassing the late night host. She committed suicide in 1998, and Letterman publicly expressed his sympathy to her family on his show.

Paula Abdul
Stalked by: Paula Goodspeed

What did she do? Goodspeed, who had appeared on “Idol” as a contestant in 2005, and dismissed with derisive comments from judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson – Abdul received more than 100 letters, numerous phone calls and uninvited visits from Goodspeed.

Why? Goodspeed felt they had a connection – she had legally changed her first name from Sandra to Paula.

Result: Goodspeed died outside of Abdul’s house of an apparent suicide from what police believe was a drug overdose. Her mother had reported her missing, directing officers to Abdul’s neighborhood and expressing fears Goodspeed was suicidal. The day before, she had sent Abdul flowers.

Tom Cruise
Stalked by: Edward Van Tassal (an Iraq war veteran)

What did he do? Van Tassal turned up at the actor’s Beverly Hills mansion, repeatedly trying to hand-deliver a letter to Cruise.

Why? He wanted to enlist Cruise in a campaign to help other veterans.

Result: Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge George Eskin issued a restraining order against the 29-year-old, who was also arrested for brandishing a gun on the Los Angeles Freeway.

Conan O’Brien
Stalked by: Rev. David Ajemian

What did he do? The stalker Catholic priest sent threatening letters and DVDs to Conan.

Why? He believed he went to school with Conan, at Harvard University, but Conan has no recollection of ever meeting him.

Result: Ajemian pleaded guilty in 2007 to disorderly conduct and agreed to stay away from the late-night talk-show host. He was placed on leave by the Archdiocese of Boston after the scandal broke and was later stripped of his priestly duties entirely.

Nicole Kidman
Stalked by: Matthew Hooker (a self-styled poet and screenwriter)

What did he do? Hooker had contacted her by phone and by letter and came to her house twice in April saying he wanted to take her out for an ice-cream, and later to the ballet.He had also written asking if he could tutor her two children, adding that this “would give us the chance to get to know each other”. He was also running for president, making his own movie, and had some creepy-but-funny web sites for both.

Why? He said he was “strongly attracted” to Kidman and believed that they were soulmates.

Result: Kidman filed a restraining order on Hooker. In 2007, he moved to San Francisco and cut a woman in a bar using a broken glass.

Selena
Stalked by: Yolanda Saldívar (a registered nurse and the president of her fan club)

What did she do? Saldívar approached Selena’s father with the idea of starting a fan club. Her wish was granted and she became the club’s president; later she became the manager of Selena’s clothing boutiques. Saldívar shot her, and before collapsing to the floor in a hotel lobby, Selena named Saldívar as her assailant and gave the room number where she had been shot.

Why? In early 1995, the Quintanillas discovered that Saldívar was embezzling money from the fan club, and decided to fire her. Selena told Saldívar that she could not be trusted anymore. She admitted to killing her because she didn’t want to be apart from her.

Result: After murdering Selena, Saldivar entered her red pickup truck, where she held police at bay while holding a gun to her left temple. She surrendered peacefully to the police after nine and a half hours. In October 1995, a Houston jury convicted Saldívar of first degree murder and sentenced her to life in prison, with no possibility of parole for thirty years.

Britney Spears
Stalked by: Masahiko Shizawa (a 43-year old Japanese computer programmer and inventor)

What did he do? He sent Spears hundreds of letters, photos of himself and notes saying “I’m chasing you”. Then he tried to break into her homes in both L.A. and Louisiana.

Why? A California judge called him “abnormally obsessed” with the star. His lawyer claimed it was just a cultural misunderstanding.

Result: Spears was granted a three-year restraining order and he was sent back to Japan; however, now he suing Spears – saying her bodyguards caused him extreme emotional distress when they brandished a gun and told him to leave the area.

Rebecca Schaeffer
Stalked by: Robert John Bardo

What did he do? For 3 years, Bardo wrote her letters and traveled to LA to see her at the My Sister Sam set. For $250 he got her home address from the California DMV via a Tucson detective agency. His brother helped him get a handgun because he was underage. On July 18, 1989, Schaeffer was murdered by Bardo, when she answered the door of her apartment.

Why? Bardo had become fixated on Schaeffer after his previous fixation, child peace activist Samantha Smith, was killed in an airplane crash. After viewing Schaeffer’s film in which she appeared in bed with a male actor, Bardo became enraged and decided that Schaeffer should be punished for becoming “another Hollywood whore”.

Result: Bardo was tried by prosecutor Marcia Clark, who later became famous for her role in the O.J. Simpson trial. Convicted of capital murder in a bench trial, Bardo was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Following Schaeffer’s murder, California laws regarding the release of personal information through the DMV were drastically changed. The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act was enacted in 1994, which prevents the DMV from releasing private addresses. However, the law’s effect has subsequently been diminished by online address search services.

Bjork
Stalked by: Ricardo Lopez

What did he do? Lopez documented himself via video for weeks leading up to the event where he sent her an acid bomb, in the aim of seriously maiming her. Thankfully, it was intercepted in the mail system before it reached her.

Why? He was obsessed and deranged.

Result: He killed himself on video.

Agnetha Faltskog
Stalked by: Gert van der Graaf (a Dutch fork-lift truck driver)

What did he do? He was so obsessed by the ABBA singer that he moved into a house next her. They met and became a couple, which lasted for two years – until she came to her senses. After they broke up he became obsessed with her and repeatedly was seen on the grounds of her large mansion.

Why? He is obsessed.

Result: In 2003 he was arrested when he tried to break into her house and was sentenced. A court had previously ordered that he should be expelled and issued a restraining order. He was later deported from Sweden. Falkskog has lived the life of a recluse since fleeing to a remote farmhouse in Sweden, shortly after ABBA split in 1983. In 2005, the ban against his entry to Sweden expired and neighbours spotted him near Faltskog’s home in Ekero, west of Stockholm.

David Caruso
Stalked by: Heidemarie Schnitzer (Austrian)

What did she do? She stalked and sent death threats to Caruso, his daughter Greta, and Liza Marquez (the mother of his two youngest children). In April 2008, Schnitzer failed to appear for trial and fled Austria for Mexico’s Baja peninsula, presumably to be closer to David Caruso.

Why? She is mentally unbalanced.

Result: She was indicted for stalking and in October 2008, Austrian Judge Guenther Boehler issued an International Warrant for Schnitzer’s arrest. Schnitzer remains at large in Mexico and fears are mounting that she may attempt to breach the US/Mexico border, travel to Los Angeles and carry out her threats against Caruso and his family. While in hiding, Schnitzer uses the Internet to promote her hatred of Caruso on hundreds of sites and forums.

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Any other celebrity stalkers that you think should be mentioned here… please leave a comment below…

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