An Ohio man accused of stalking actress Gwyneth Paltrow has been acquitted by a California jury. CBS News reports that the verdict in this high profile case was read on Wednesday, leaving an element of uncertainty for the Hollywood actress, who has reportedly endured repeated unwanted contact from the Ohio man since 1999.
The New York Daily News reports that Gwyneth Paltrow had to confront her accused stalker just following Super Bowl Sunday. The A-lister reportedly broke down in tears while testifying about the ongoing harassment she had allegedly experienced through the Ohio man’s numerous attempts at contacting her.
The acquittal is surrounding the accusation that Dante Soiu had initiated contact with Paltrow after he was released from a mental hospital. His stint in the facility was the result of the last time he had tried to bombard the actress with letters and packages. Between 1999 and the year 2000, Soiu allegedly sent numerous “pornographic letters” and sex toys to Paltrow’s home. He also sent a staggering 66 letters professing his love and devotion to the actress. This behavior landed him in court, but he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. That is when he was confined behind the walls of a mental hospital.
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) February 18, 2016
— Marie Claire (@marieclaire) February 9, 2016
Upon his release, however, things didn’t appear to change. Gwyneth Paltrow reportedly received another letter from her accused stalker in 2014. This sent her into a panic, leading her to amp up security at her home. When testifying in court this month, she referred to her status as a single mother who is afraid of what her alleged stalker could do.
— TMIdotBUZZ (@TMIdotBUZZ) February 18, 2016
— JM Deutsch (@jm_deutsch) February 18, 2016
— Sharon Carbine (@SharonCarbine) February 18, 2016
— Carlo Delgaudio (@Cardel444) February 18, 2016
The #GwynethPaltrow stalker case is both the saddest and scariest thing! What message does that verdict portray to other would-be stalkers?!
— Jill Holland (@Jill_Holland89) February 18, 2016
— The World Protection (@WPG_Security) February 18, 2016
The acquittal of Gwyneth Paltrow’s accused stalker is attracting a lot of attention on social media — with some people expressing outrage that the man was found not guilty after a history of the same exact behavior against the actress. Some folks believe that this acquittal will only empower the man accused of habitually stalking the Hollywood actress.
Statistically speaking, most cases of stalking don’t end in violence — according to Psychology Today. However, there have been numerous famous cases involving predatory stalking and violence, some of which involve famous celebrities. One high profile case involved the murder of model and television actress Rebecca Schaeffer.
She was only 21-years-old when she was gunned down in the doorway of her Hollywood apartment building. The man behind the gun was Robert John Bardo, a deranged fan who had become obsessed with Schaeffer, and who had stalked her for approximately three years leading up to her death. Does this mean that Paltrow is in danger?
— WhyTheCagedBirdSings (@Karimahn) February 18, 2016
Gwyneth Paltrow hasn’t released any statements regarding the acquittal of the man who has reportedly stalked her since 1999.
[Photo via Wikipedia/Andrea Raffin 2011]