Gwyneth Paltrow has certainly known her share of stressful situations during her long career as an Oscar-winning actress and Hollywood celebrity, but perhaps nothing compared to the stress she likely felt last Monday when she gave evidence in a Los Angeles court after accusing a man of stalking her for the past 17 years.
The Huffington Post reports that Gwyneth Paltrow claims to have received numerous letters from Dante Michael Soiu for the past 17 years, although this particular case concentrates on contact made between 2009 and 2014. During that time, Gwyneth Paltrow claims that the defendant sent her more than 70 letters, along with clothing and a cookbook.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) February 9, 2016
Gwyneth Paltrow spent more than three hours testifying on the stand, during which time she confessed to the Los Angeles court that she feared for the safety of herself and her family, in particular because at least one of the letters was delivered directly to her home in Los Angeles. The BBC reports that Gwyneth Paltrow was asked by the prosecution lawyer if she felt scared by any of the messages that she had received by the defendant.
“Yes, because the communications completely defy logic…. I’ve been dealing for 17 years with the communications from this man. I felt very upset by it… This has been a very long and very traumatic experience already.”
The BBC reports that Deputy district attorney Wendy Segall stated her case clearly during her opening statement.
“This is a case that has gone on for Ms Paltrow for 17 years. Her sense of security has been shattered by this man.”
During the trial, Gwyneth Paltrow read aloud from several of the letters, which she describes as ranging from “religious to pornographic to threatening.”
The 67-year-old defendant wrote about his marriage goals in one particular letter.
“I have a goal to marry Gwyneth Paltrow.”
Another letter was religious-based and much more sinister.
“You are hopelessly lost. Now you must die. Yourself, must die so that Christ can have preeminence.”
Lynda Westlund, the defendant’s attorney, claimed that Gwyneth Paltrow had misinterpreted her client’s letters which were simply intended to be “religious messages” for the actress, proven, she says, by the fact that most were biblical in nature. The defendant has entered a plea of not guilty.
Unfortunately for the Oscar-winning actress, this is not the first time that Gwyneth Paltrow has fronted a court accusing the same man of stalking her. The Huffington Post reports that back in 2001, Soiu faced a similar charge of stalking Gwyneth Paltrow and was ultimately found not guilty by reason of insanity. In the earlier trial, it was alleged that some of the communication sent by the defendant to Gwyneth Paltrow included pornographic material and sex toys. The defendant was remanded to a mental health facility immediately following the trial, where he spent more than three years. Unfortunately, it seems that he resumed his usual activities towards Gwyneth Paltrow upon his release from the mental health facility.
Given the extremely stressful legal situation Gwyneth Paltrow is currently facing, it is comforting to know that her ex-husband Chris Martin doesn’t seem to be adding to her stress load. The Coldplay frontman spoke to Rolling Stone about his divorce from Gwyneth Paltrow, and it seems that the former couple are working hard to make the best of what could have been a very difficult situation.
“I have a very wonderful separation-divorce. It’s a divorce – but it’s a weird one.”
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) February 10, 2016
As it turns out, the secret to Gwyneth Paltrow’s post-divorce success may have come from her ex-husband’s philosophy on marriage and divorce in general. Speaking on the word “divorce” in particular, Chris Martin admitted that he has a less than conventional idea of the meaning of the word.
“I don’t think about that word very often. I don’t see it that way. I see it as more like you meet someone, you have some time together and things just move through.”
[Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images]