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Friday, 15 December, 2000, 09:51 GMT
Paltrow stalker declared insane
Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow: Oscar-winner for Shakespeare in Love
A 49-year-old man has been convicted of stalking Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

Dante Soiu, from Ohio, sent the 28-year-old actress hundreds of letters, some sexually graphic, and left presents outside her parents' home.

He sent up to five letters a day, as well as e-mails and packages. He also sent her pornography, flowers, sweets and pizza.

Paltrow, best known for her roles in Shakespeare in Love, Sliding Doors and Seven, told the court that her fear of Soiu gave her nightmares and made her fear she would be sexually assaulted.

The trial took place in Santa Monica with little media attention last week, after Ms Paltrow exercised her right under Californian law to have her name removed from court documents.

Warnings

Soiu was declared legally insane by Judge Robert O'Neil and was sent to a secure psychiatric facility for an indefinite period.

The court was told that Soiu first appeared outside the home of Paltrow's parents in May 1999. Her mother, actress Blythe Danner, asked him not to come back.

He was arrested last May when he returned on three further occasions to Paltrow's parents' home, having ignored warnings from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not to return.

Giving evidence in his own defence, Soiu admitted sending the packages to Paltrow, but denied he "wanted to place her in fear".

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See also:

08 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Gwyneth reveals Brad split heartbreak
25 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Paltrow sued over crash
25 Dec 99 | Tom Brook
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09 Feb 00 | Entertainment
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