Being a Hollywood celebrity certainly has its perks. The rich and famous stars seem to have it all, and the public is so fascinated with what they do in their everyday lives that cameras follow them around from place to place. But living under that sort of microscope can pose a threat and be a scary reality for some celebrities whose delusional fans become obsessed with them. Those obsessions can be very dangerous for the stars and sometimes even turn deadly, as disturbed individuals will stop at nothing to get to them.
Here’s a list of some celebrities who were harassed, threatened, or had terrifying encounters with their stalkers.
1. Justin Bieber
In 2010, prison inmate Dana Martin, who served a sentence for the brutal rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl, became obsessed with Justin Bieber. After several unsuccessful attempts to connect with the singer, Martin decided he wanted the pop star dead. He conspired with another inmate, Mark Staake, and Mark’s nephew, Tanner Ruane, to find the Biebs, execute him, and cut off his genitals as a trophy.
Martin, Staake, and Ruane were all charged with multiple counts of first-degree conspiracy to commit murder.
2. Britney Spears
In 2002, a man named Masahiko Shizawa stalked Britney Spears, saying he loved the pop princess. Shizawa sent Spears countless emails and pictures in an effort to get her attention. Though a judge ordered him to stay away from the star, he still showed up at her home and her parents’ house anyway.
Whatever plan he had for the singer and her family was foiled when he was confronted by their security detail. He then actually tried to sue Spears, claiming that he suffered “extreme emotional distress” because one of the guards pointed a gun at him. That case was thrown out.
3. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas dealt with a crazed stalker named Dawnette Knight, who became obsessed with Douglas and believed that Zeta-Jones only married him for his money. Knight sent some truly disturbing letters to the actress, detailing how she would cut her up into pieces and feed her to dogs if she didn’t leave Douglas.
Knight was sentenced to three years in prison.
The singer has had several stalkers who tried to get close to her over the years. In 2013, a man broke into Rihanna’s neighbor’s house in Los Angeles believing it was her’s and was later busted by police when he got into the star’s actual home. Then in 2014, a homeless man with a long rap sheet named Kevin Mcglynn was arrested after he went to her Manhattan apartment building several times in one day looking for her.
And, in 2017, 33-year-old Salmir Feratovic was booked for criminal trespassing outside of RiRi’s place. Feratovic was arrested a year earlier at the same location for the same reason, and cops said he was in possession of a knife at the time.
5. Taylor Swift
Another star who has had multiple stalkers is Taylor Swift. Like Rihanna, Swift was stalked by a man who repeatedly tried to get into her Manhattan apartment building. Mohammed Jaffar had allegedly harassed the “Bad Blood” singer since 2014. A judge ruled in 2017 that Jaffar was unfit to stand trial and he was placed in a mental institution.
In 2016, Frank Andrew Hoover sent Swift and her father threatening messages before he tried to get past her bodyguards at a Formula One concert. And in 2013, a man from Illinois was arrested for trespassing after he swam –yes, swam — to Swift’s Rhode Island beach house in the middle of the night.
6. Gigi Hadid
The model’s stalker also tried getting into her New York City pad and apparently made it to her front door, which he boasted about on Facebook.
Marcell Porter was arrested in 2015 on eight counts including burglary and stalking. He was sentenced up to three years in prison, but scared the supermodel so bad that she put her Soho apartment up for sale following the ordeal.
7. Gwyneth Paltrow
For nearly two decades, Dante Soiu stalked Gwyneth Paltrow. He sent the actress threatening letters saying he wanted to use “God’s scalpel to cut sin out of her” and had sex toys and other lewd gifts delivered to her. He even showed up at her mother’s house in an attempt to see her. Soiu was sent to a psychiatric facility in the early 2000s, but continued to write the Oscar winner upon his release.
In 2016, a jury acquitted him of stalking after he testified that he was only writing to Paltrow again to apologize for what he had sent her in the past.
Robert Dewey Hoskins stalked the singer in the ’90s. On one occasion, he made his way onto Madonna’s property and threatened to slit her throat, but her security team shot him in the leg after he jumped the fence.
In 1996, he got convicted of stalking the Material Girl and received a sentence of 10 years in prison. Hoskins also served time in a mental hospital.
9. Miley Cyrus
In 2012, Jason Luis Rivera, who believed he and Miley Cyrus were married, made it past a security gate and began knocking on her front door. The cops rushed to the then-empty residence where they arrested Rivera, who had a large pair of scissors on him.
He was charged with trespassing and burglary and spent 18 months behind bars.
10. Jamie Foxx
In 2009, a man named Steven Taliver posed as a producer to get Jamie Foxx to open the door of his hotel suite in Philadelphia. Taliver then barged into the room, but Foxx overpowered and removed him.
Taliver fled the scene, but several days later, police caught up to him and he faced charges of burglary, criminal threats, stalking, false imprisonment, and harassment.
11. Keanu Reeves
Actor Keanu Reeves came face to face with a female stalker after she broke into his home in 2014. The Matrix actor woke up to noises and, when he went to investigate, found a woman in his library. Two days after that incident, another female made her way onto the star’s estate after a cleaning team left a gate open. The crew later spotted the woman when she stripped down and swam around naked in Reeves’ pool.
Both women were taken to a hospital and received mental evaluations.
12. Sandra Bullock
In 2014, Joshua Corbett entered Sandra Bullock’s house while the actress was home with her son. Bullock hid in a closet and called 911 as Corbett banged on her bedroom door. Police arrived and took him into custody. Through an investigation law enforcement, officials discovered that Corbett had planned to sexually assault the star and found two dozen firearms at his home.
He received probation and got sent to a mental health facility after determining that he suffered from bipolar schizophrenia.
13. Jodie Foster
After seeing the 1976 movie Taxi Driver, John Hinckley Jr. became infatuated with Jodi Foster, who played a 12-year-old prostitute in the film. When the actress attended Yale University, Hinckley moved close by and began writing her. Since she didn’t respond, he decided to try and “impress” her by assassinating a U.S. president. In 1981, he shot and wounded President Ronald Reagan.
Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a psychiatric facility where he remained until 2016.
14. Selena Quintanilla-Pérez
Singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez’s case is so tragic because someone she once trusted cut her life short. Yolanda Saldívar became the president of Selena’s fan club but, in 1995, the singer’s family learned that she had been embezzling money and fired her.
Three weeks later, Saldivar asked Selena to meet with her at a hotel. The two women ended up arguing over financial records, and Saldivar pulled out a gun and shot Selena in the back as she attempted to flee.
Saldivar got convicted of murder and received a sentence of life in prison.
15. John Lennon
The story of how John Lennon’s life ended is chilling because his stalker plotted to kill the singer for some time and even got his autograph before doing so. In 1980, Mark David Chapman traveled to New York City and spent almost an entire day outside of Lennon and Yoko Ono’s apartment. When the musician and his wife returned home that evening, Chapman shot Lennon several times. The assailant then remained at the scene and began reading The Catcher in the Rye.
Police arrested Chapman, who received a sentence of 20 years to life in prison for the murder.
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