Gwyneth Paltrow Testifies Against Man Accused Of Stalking Her For 17 Years

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow told a Los Angeles court on Monday that she feared for her safety after receiving dozens of letters from a man accused of stalking her for the past 17 years, according to media reports.

Paltrow, who read aloud from the letters sent by Dante Michael Soiu, 67, told the jury she found the messages “religious to pornographic to threatening,” the California wire agency City News Service (CNS) reported.

Paltrow, 43, said Soiu sent her about 70 letters, a cookbook, clothing and other items from 2009 and 2014, CNS reported.

“I have a goal to marry Gwyneth Paltrow,” one letter said, according to CNS.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
During the 17 years she was stalked, Gwyneth Paltrow received letters, some of which contained death threats.

A 2010 letter declared, “You are hopelessly lost,” CBS News reported. “Now you must die. Yourself, must die so that Christ can have preeminence.”

Paltrow, who testified for about three hours, told the court she feared for the safety of her family and said at least one of the letters had arrived directly to her Los Angeles home.

Soiu’s attorney, Lynda Westlund, told the court he was harmless and said Paltrow misinterpreted his letters, many of which were biblical in nature and meant as religious messages to the actress, CNS said.

Soiu has pleaded not guilty to one felony count of stalking.

This is the second time Soiu, of Columbus, Ohio, has faced trial on charges of stalking Paltrow. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity in a 2001 trial.

He spent more than three years in a mental health facility after the trial, CBS News reported.

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FILE – This April 18, 2013 file photo shows actress Gwyneth Paltrow at the Tiffany & Co. Blue Book Ball at Rockefeller Center in New York.
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FILE – This April 18, 2013 file photo shows actress Gwyneth Paltrow at the Tiffany & Co. Blue Book Ball at Rockefeller Center in New York.
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In this Monday, April 22, 2013 photo, Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. pose for a portrait at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.
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This film publicity image released by Disney-Marvel Studios shows Robert Downey Jr., left, as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in a scene from “Iron Man 3.” (AP Photo/Disney, Marvel Studios)
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Actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrives at the world premiere of Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” at the El Capitan Theatre on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
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This cover image released by People shows actress Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover of a special double issue. The 40-year-old actress tops the magazine’s annual list of the “World’s Most Beautiful,” announced Wednesday, April 24, 2013. (AP Photo/People Magazine)
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U.S actress Gwyneth Paltrow poses for photographers during the Iron Man 3 premiere, in Paris, Sunday April 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
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Gwyneth Paltrow, left, and Robert Downey Jr. pose during a photo call to promote their new movie “Iron Man 3” in Munich, southern Germany, Friday, April 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
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Gwyneth Paltrow poses with her new book “It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great,” before a signing at Barnes and Noble on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
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