Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne endured a five-year campaign of harrassment by a stalker, a court heard. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for OMEGA

A woman sent love letters and followed the actor Eddie Redmayne around in a five-year campaign of harassment that left the Hollywood stars family "distressed and deeply unsettled", a court heard.

Gaby Stieger, 49, a German translator, started her obsessive behaviour after seeing Redmayne in a play at the Donmar Warehouse in Covent Garden in 2012. She would send him letters and hang around outside his house in Southwark.

She visited him on the set on the film the Theory of Everything for which he won a best actor Oscar.

She also followed him and his wife to a carol service in 2013, would sit outside his house in a park and once followed him to his local Tube station. Most recently, in August 2017, she tried to touch the star's arm while he was outside his house with his baby daughter.

Prosecutor Sara Ashkboos told Camberwell Magistrates' Court that Stieger would send letters of admiration with one missive saying: "I know things about you", the Telegraph reported.

"She directly states she is in love with the complainant and asked him to reply," Ashkboos said.

In a statement by Redmayne that was read to the court on Wednesday (13 September) , the actor said: "I always try to be open and friendly as support (from fans) is what gives me a career. I deeply regret having met Gaby Stieger. She harassed myself and my family intermittently over five years, leaving us distressed, unsafe and deeply unsettled."

"The safety of my family is everything to me and with her behaviour we can't feel safe."

Stieger, of Colindale, north London, is banned from contacting Redmayne and will be sentenced on Thursday (14 September).