Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow has opened up about her experience with a stalker for 17 years. The Iron Man star testified in the trial of a man accused of stalking her in a Los Angeles court on 8 February.
Dante Soiu was accused previously as well of stalking Paltrow. In a trial in 2000 involving lewd correspondence he sent to the actress, Soiu was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was rearrested last year for sending Chris Martin's former wife new messages and gifts. The present case involves a batch of 66 messages the alleged stalker sent the actress between 2009 and 2015.
Paltrow, 43, who broke down during the trial, spoke about receiving letters discussing her death and his [Soiu's] intentions of marrying her. He also sent her pornography and unsolicited gifts such as sex toys, earrings, religious books and clothes.
"I felt very upset by it. It defied logic, and I found it very, very upsetting," a tearful Paltrow said in the trial and added that the recent letters came after she had two children, the Associated Press reported. "This has been a very long and very traumatic experience already," the actress said.
She claimed that one of the letters described her "bowing to death", which was "disturbing". In another letter, Soiu wrote: "I have a goal: to marry Gwyneth Paltrow and take care of her."
When asked by a prosecutor if she feared for her children's safety because of Soiu, Paltrow agreed. "I'm scared because the communications completely defy logic," she said. "I've been dealing with his for 17 years with the communications from this man.
"This is a case that has gone on for Ms Paltrow for 17 years," deputy district attorney Wendy Segall said. "Her sense of security has been shattered by this man," she stressed.
Soiu, 66, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, while his attorney Lynda Westlund said he has "simply" written letters to Paltrow, and that recent letters have not included pornography.