On Monday, Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow got emotional as she testified in the trial of a man accused of stalking her. Paltrow said she has been getting unsolicited gifts, pornography, and disturbing letters and threats from the stalker.
Paltrow identified Dante Soiu, 66, as the man who has been stalking her for 17 years. She said Soiu had sent her letters talking about her death and his intentions to marry her. The actress also revealed that she received a pair of earrings and religious books back in 2009 as Christmas presents.
Gwyneth Paltrow — In Court to Face Stalker https://t.co/CmeoPQJD5d
— TMZ (@TMZ) February 8, 2016
Although Soiu is accused of stalking Gwyneth Paltrow for 17 years, the case focuses on the 66 most recent messages allegedly sent from 2009 to 2015. Many of the letters he was accused of sending contained statements describing the actress “bowing to death.” Ironically, some of the letters also include religious messages. He also reportedly forwarded the letters he sent her to Angelina Jolie and President Barack Obama.
The 43-year-old actress was generally composed during the trial but got a little emotional when asked about whether she is worried for her kids’ safety.
Gwyneth Paltrow Testifies Against Stalker Who Allegedly Threatened Physical And Sexual Violence https://t.co/3vr087gweI
— Gossip Cop (@GossipCop) February 9, 2016
“Yes,” she answered tearfully. “I’m scared because the communications completely defy logic,” stated Paltrow, explaining why she was frightened by Soiu’s missives.
“I’ve been dealing with his for 17 years with the communications from this man,” she added.
Paltrow testified about letters and gifts she received from Soiu starting in 1999, which included several pornographic materials, sex toys, and disturbing love notes telling her that he wanted to cleanse her of sin.
“This is a case that has gone on for Ms. Paltrow for 17 years,” Deputy Dist. Atty. Wendy Segall said in her opening statements. “Her sense of security has been shattered by this man.”
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow testifies in trial of a man accused of stalking her for 17 years https://t.co/RVPph2KmYa pic.twitter.com/Y5KjQvNBh8
— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) February 8, 2016
In another letter, Soiu allegedly declared his dream of marrying the actress: “I have one goal: to marry Gwyneth Paltrow and take care of her.”
Paltrow admitted that she found it very troubling. “I felt very upset by it,” she told the jury in her testimony that lasted about an hour. “This has been a very long and very traumatic experience already.”
The 66-year-old accused stalker allegedly wrote a letter asking for the actress’ forgiveness: “I am sorry I hurt you. Please forgive me.” Paltrow was certain it was Soiu’s writing after having received numerous letters from him.
During the trial, Paltrow, also reportedly told the jury that Soiu’s notes had prompted her to get an attack dog. She even asked her bodyguard to teach the dog attack and bite commands as she fears for her family’s safety. It has also been revealed that Soiu’s letters threatened to use a scalpel “to cut out sin” in her body, and authorities reportedly accused the defendant of making “threats of a sexual nature.”
Gwyneth Paltrow testifies her ‘stalker’ wrote her letters about ridding her of sin with a SCALPEL https://t.co/BiVBQ81eJt
— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) February 8, 2016
Gwyneth Paltrow has two kids with her ex-husband and Coldplay vocalist Chris Martin. She and Martin filed for divorce in April 2015.
Her testimony came after she appeared at Super Bowl 50, where Coldplay and Beyoncé performed at the halftime show.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) February 8, 2016
The man was found not guilty by reason of insanity in a trial in 2000 that also involved the actress. Soiu was sent to mental rehabilitation instead. He was re-arrested last year after allegedly sending the actress new letters.
Soiu’s legal representatives said that the defendant’s recent correspondence did not include pornography. Attorney Lynda Westlund described the accused stalker as a Christian man who is only trying to minister to the award-winning actress.
Soiu has remained silent as Gwyneth Paltrow recounted her experience during the trial, but pleaded guilty in the end.
[Image by Frazer Harrison, Getty Images]