June 29, 2017
Gwyneth Paltrow Stalker Acquitted -- Did The 'Most Hated Celebrity' Title Work Against Her?

Gwyneth Paltrow's alleged stalker now walks free among us. The man accused of stalking Gwyneth Paltrow has been acquitted. The prosecutors had said that the man sent several letters and gifts to Paltrow over the last few years, the Associated Press reports. She has often been labeled as the "Most Hated Celebrity". Could that have worked against her?

This was the second case against Dante Soiu, 66, who was accused of stalking the Shakespeare In Love actress.

Soiu, a resident of Columbus, Ohio, spent time in a mental institution during the last few years of last decade. He was accused of sending lewd messages and sex toys to Paltrow. However, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Paltrow said the situtation defied logic and that it was very upsetting for her.
"I felt very upset by it. It defied logic, and I found it very, very upsetting... This was something I had been through a very long and traumatic experience with already.
She further said she had been dealing with this situation for 17 years. "I've been dealing for 17 years with the communications from this man," she said of the stalker. It could surely be traumatic if someone has been stalking for so long.
However, in his defense, Soiu said he was merely looking for a pen pal. "I was very lonely... I wanted to have a pen pal."

There were references made to death in a letter, which Paltrow found disturbing. Soiu wrote in one letter: "I have a goal: to marry Gwyneth Paltrow and take care of her."

However, the jurors said they had doubts Soiu wanted to scare Paltrow. The jury criticized Soiu's conduct, but said it does not amount to "felony stalking".

Soiu said he wanted to make amends and that he has abandoned the desire to marry the actress.

The jury also said it believed he did not need to hospitalized for mental health issues.

Paltrow said she feared for the safety of her kids, Apple, 11, and Moses, 9, after she received gifts that included a Weight Watchers cookbook.

She said she got a guard dog, the Daily Mail said, and had her bodyguard train in. "You are hopelessly lost," Soiu allegedly wrote in one letter from 2010 to Paltrow.

However, some of Soiu's letters seem more than innocent. "Now you must die. Yourself, must die so that Christ can have preeminence." "I have no desire to hurt her feelings. I have no desire to harass her," said the man. One might wonder why the jury would acquit such a man.

After being found not guilty, his lawyer, Lynda Westlund, said Soiu "just needed the right medication. He is completely lucid."

"He's unique. He's special. But... he's very cogent," she said, BBC reports.

A 2001 BBC report says he sent her e mails, packages, flowers, and pizza. Back then, the prosecutor had said that Soiu's treatment was the best way out for everyone. Rhonda Saunders, the prosecutor, also added that Paltrow "feels safe" with the situation. However, Paltrow had said it gave her nightmares to think that she could be sexually assaulted.

Soiu was first spotted outside Paltrow's parents house in May, 1999. Her mother, Blythe Danner, had asked him not to hang around the house. He was spotted three times after that, and was arrested in May, 2000, after ignoring warnings from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Soiu admitted sending packages to Paltrow, but said he did not "want to place her in fear." It may not have been deliberate, but it's clear the incident had caused Paltrow much agony and fear.

Complex magazine has said that the stalker sent her 66 letters over the years. Do you really think Gwyneth Paltrow got justice in this case?

[Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images]