The stalking case verdict involving Gwyneth Paltrow was not in the actress’ favor. Her alleged stalker is now free, the Associated Press has reported.
Dante Soiu, 66, a resident of Columbus, Ohio, was accused of stalking Paltrow. But it seems like Soiu’s lawyers made a good case for him. Or is it that the jurors just did not like Paltrow? She has often been labeled as the “most hated celebrity.” Could that have worked against her?
The jurors said they had doubts Soiu wanted to scare Paltrow. Although the jury criticized Soiu’s conduct, it said it does not amount to felony stalking.
Soiu was accused of sending lewd messages and sex toys to Paltrow. Having spent time in a mental institution in the early 2000s, he has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
The Shakespeare in Love actress said the situation “defied logic” and that it was all 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 went on to say that this is not a new situation and that she has been dealing with it for the last 17 years.
“I’ve been dealing for 17 years with the communications from this man,” she said of the stalker.
However, Soiu has defended everything he did and said he was actually looking for a pen pal.
“I was very lonely… I wanted to have a pen pal,” he explained.
However, what may have taken Paltrow completely unawares are the references to death made by Soiu.
He wrote in one letter, “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,” Soiu said.
By the stalker’s other statements it surely looked like he was infatuated with the actress, saying, “I have a goal: to marry Gwyneth Paltrow and take care of her.”
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 News reports.
A 2001 BBC report says the stalker sent her emails, packages, flowers, and pizza. However, the prosecutor’s response to this was slightly different. The prosecutor had said that Soiu was in need of treatment. Prosecutor Rhonda Saunders also said that Paltrow “felt safe” with the situation. However, Paltrow had said it gave her nightmares to think that she could be sexually assaulted, the Inquisitr reported.
According to reports, Soiu was first seen outside Gwyneth Paltrow’s parents’ house in the summer of 1999. Although no action was taken against him immediately, Paltrow’s mother, Blythe Danner, had asked him to go away and not hang around the house. Despite the warnings, he was seen three times after that. And then in May 2000, he was arrested for ignoring federal warnings. It can be safely said that despite Soiu’s admission that he did not “want to place her in fear,” the incident may have caused Paltrow much agony and fear.
Complex reported that the stalker sent her 66 letters over the years.
Do you think Gwyneth Paltrow got justice in this case? Is her “most hated celebrity” title finally working against her? Do you think that the stalking case verdict would discourage future stalkers or offenders? It’s hard to say what the case really is, one can only hope that Paltrow does not go through it again.
[Photo By Craig Barritt/Getty Images]