Spielberg `panicked' by stalker who wanted to rape him
One of the country’s most respected commentators on Russia, the EU and the US, Mary Dejevsky has worked as a foreign correspondent all over the world, including Washington, Paris and Moscow. She is now the chief editorial writer and a columnist at The Independent and regularly appears on radio and television. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Buckingham.
Saturday 20 December 1997
Court records released by a federal judge this week in Los Angeles, quote Mr Spielberg as saying that he became "completely panicked", had nightmares and couldn't focus after learning that a man accused of stalking him had been arrested near his home, armed with razors, a knife, masking tape, and a plan to rape him.
The man, Jonathan Norman, was detained in July after a chase through the elite Los Angeles suburb of Pacific Palisades. Police found a Jurassic Park sticker, a videotape of the film ET and cut-out pictures of dinosaurs in his car. He was on parole after serving a prison term for assault. A police detective, Paul Wright, said Norman told him he had an obsession: "He believed that [Spielberg] wanted to be raped by him."
Spielberg, who was abroad with his family at the time of the arrest, said of the stalking: "It's become an emotional obsession with me ... I'm very distraught over the possibility that this man could come out of jail and go right back on the warpath again." He said he was afraid that Norman might have followed him to Ireland, where he was filming a war film, Saving Private Ryan, disguised himself among the actor-soldiers, gained access to a gun with live ammunition and created an international incident.
The release of the court records - which date from October - followed a challenge from the Los Angeles Times and other media organisations over the secrecy surrounding the investigation. They argued that the secrecy was unwarranted and that Spielberg had been given special treatment because of who he was. They also noted a growing tendency for celebrities to be given anonymity in court cases. The judge described the secrecy in this case as "overkill" and ordered the records unsealed.
- 2 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
Syria's 'circle of hell': Aleppo residents describe children without heads, streets filled with blood and injuries never before witnessed by surgeons
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...
£18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...