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Oscar winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow was back in court this month, after her former stalker was accused of, you guessed it, stalking her again. The 66-year old man, Dante Soiu, sent her dozens of letters and packages over the past six years.
In addition to what’s being called “biblical and religious ramblings” by Soiu’s attorney, he also sent Gwyneth various gifts such as a Weight Watchers cookbook and second hand clothing. She testified in court that she “…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.”
In 2000, the same man was convicted of stalking Gwyneth and sentenced to a mental institution. He had sent her hundreds of pornographic and threatening letters, sex toys, and even showed up at her parent’s home in Santa Monica. He was ruled highly delusional and pleaded not-guilty by reason of insanity.
Aside from stalking Gwyneth, Soiu had also gone to court in 2013 for violating a protection order placed against him by a woman in Dublin, OH after he came to her workplace.
Although recent letters to Gwyneth are allegedly no longer pornographic, the actress still felt there was a reasonable threat to her and her family. Soiu’s attorney, however, insisted he was just trying to minister her on the Bible. Soiu also testified to the jury that he was a changed man and wanted forgiveness for his previous messages.
The jury ruled with a non-guilty verdict on Wednesday, February 17, after a week long trial. Soiu was cleared of the felony stalking charge due to no credible threat posed to Gwyneth this time around as he had not tried to visit her or send her threatening messages.
However, Rhonda Saunders, the former prosecutor who helped convict Soiu in the first case, disagrees with the ruling. In a comment to Entertainment Tonight, Saunders stated Soiu should be “in a mental hospital or in a prison for the rest of his life.” She also mentioned that she thinks “Gwyneth should be very concerned about Soiu. He is still focused on her. He is never going to give up and he is very sexually obsessed with her.”