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Friday, 22 February, 2002, 10:00 GMT
Estefan 'stalker' arrested
Emilio Estefan (centre) and wife Gloria (left)
Emilio Estefan (centre) is married to the singer Gloria
Florida police have arrested a Venezuelan actor accused of stalking Latin American singer Gloria Estefan and her husband, musician and producer Emilio.

Juan Carlos Diaz, 33, who has also accused Emilio Estefan of threatening him and making unwanted sexual advances, was arrested after allegedly trespassing at the couple's mansion.

The arrest follows a legal battle in which the Estefans won a restraining order against him and launched a $1m (700,000) lawsuit for defamation.

A warrant for Mr Diaz's arrested had been issued after police said he entered the couple's Miami home on 7 January, claiming to be their nephew.

Threat

The arrest came shortly after Mr Diaz parted company with the prominent lawyer who had been due to represent him, Ellis Rubin.

"I think he'd better get himself a good lawyer," Mr Rubin said after the arrest. "I'm no longer his lawyer, thank God."

In January, Mr Diaz said Mr Estefan threatened him and "touched him in an unwanted manner" at a gym in October 2001.

Mr Diaz tried to get a restraining order against Mr Estefan - but a judge turned down his request.

'Harassment'

Mr Estefan's subsequent request for a restraining order against Mr Diaz was granted.

Mr Estefan also filed a defamation suit against Mr Diaz, claiming that the actor had been harassing the couple for two years.

He followed them when they went jogging on the beach, turned up at parties and entered their home illegally on two occasions, they said.

Emilio Estefan (centre) and wife Gloria (left)
Gloria Estefan had a string of hits in the 1980s and 90s
Mr Diaz said he parted company with his lawyer because they disagreed on legal strategy.

"He wanted to get a settlement. I'm not selling my silence," Mr Diaz said.

Mr Diaz appeared in the film Escape from Cuba.

Grammy award-winning singer Gloria Estefan is famous for hits such as Anything For You, Rhythm is Gonna Get You and Can't Stay Away From You.

Emilio Estefan is also a multiple Grammy award winner and a respected member of the Latin-American music community.

The couple met in 1975 at a wedding when he invited her to sing for his band The Latin Boys.

She later joined the band and its name changed to the Miami Sound Machine. The couple married in 1979.

See also:

18 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Estefan slams 'terrorist' Castro
18 Jul 01 | Music
Juanes tops Latin Grammys list
31 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Estefan joins Cuban boy row
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