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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 05:34 GMT 06:34 UK
Zeta 'stalker' is held in custody
Catherine Zeta Jones
Catherine Zeta Jones is said to be "greatly relieved"
A woman has been remanded in custody by Californian authorities accused of threatening to kill Oscar-winning British actress Catherine Zeta Jones.

Dawnette Knight was arrested two weeks ago at her flat in Beverly Hills, suspected of stalking and threatening the star and her family.

The 32-year-old unemployed woman was charged with one count of stalking and 24 counts of making criminal threats.

She has denied the charges and is on $1.1m (600,000) bail.

Lieutenant Joe Impellizeri of the sheriff's major crimes bureau, said: "We felt she was a flight risk."

The letters and phone calls became more violent and specific
Lieutenant Joe Impellizeri

District attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said Ms Knight was due to return to court on 29 June for a preliminary hearing.

If convicted, she could face 19 years in prison.

Dawnette Knight
Dawnette Knight is due in court on 29 June
Lt Impellizeri said sheriff's officials had traced several letters and phone calls back to Ms Knight, including one to Austria where Ms Zeta-Jones was filming Ocean's Twelve.

"The letters and phone calls became more violent and specific," he added.

Ms Knight claimed in a magazine article that she had had an affair with Ms Zeta-Jones' husband, Michael Douglas, which his spokesman reportedly dismissed as "preposterous".

A statement released by Ms Zeta-Jones' publicist, Cece Yorke, said: "Catherine is co-operating with law enforcement officials regarding this case, and she and her family are greatly relieved that the suspect is in custody."

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