When an admirer crosses the line from fan to stalker.
By Riesa Pascal
According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Josh Groban was recently granted a restraining order against a fan who’s been obsessed with him for years. Groban says he met the woman through a mutual friend online and had made plans for them to go on a date until he got sick and had to cancel. When the woman kept pestering him about cancelling, Groban told her he was no longer interested in meeting up at all. Since then, she’s been bombarding Groban with texts, emails, DMs, graphic packages and even going so far as to contact his family members and his current girlfriend. The woman told Groban she knows where he lives in Los Angeles and also claimed she went to his home when he wasn’t there. In June, a judge agreed to grant Groban a temporary restraining order ordering the woman to stay 100 yards away from him, his family and his girlfriend in addition to stopping all online contact.
In 2011, Thomas Brodnicki was charged with felony stalking of Selena Gomez, but had the charges dismissed. The judge in the case refused to issue a restraining order against Brodnicki until he could appear in court and defend himself. In a surprising turn of events, Brodnicki sided with Gomez in her bid for a permanent restraining order against him and filed a sworn declaration telling the judge, “I do not wish to object to the restraining order against me because I know it is the only thing that will make me stay away from Selena.” In another declaration, Brodnicki told an LAPD Detective that he had over fifty conversations with God a day about killing Gomez… talk about creepy!
In 2018, a fan accused of terrorizing Taylor Swift and her family was sentenced to 10 years of probation. The man named Frank Edward Hoover began sending the pop star’s father, Scott Swift, disturbing letters in 2015 that promised to kill their entire family. Hoover referred to himself as the “real son of God” and called the Swifts “the evil family of devils.” Incredibly this wasn’t Swift’s first terrifying encounter with a fan. In 2011, Swift received a restraining order against a man who believed he was married to Taylor and vowed to murder anyone who came between them. He sent her emails, letters, and tweets saying frightening things like, “If anyone in Taylor Swift’s family gets killed, it is not my fault.”
Sadly, not every stalker story concludes with a happy ending. One of Hollywood’s most frightening stalker stories belongs to John Lennon. In 1980, the Beatles star was shot outside of his Manhattan home by Mark David Chapman, a fan who had become incensed by Lennon’s lifestyle and public statements such as his remark about the Beatles being “more popular than Jesus.” Chapman remained at the scene reading The Catcher in the Rye until police arrived and had planned to cite the novel as his manifesto. Unfortunately, Lennon succumbed to his injuries and the world mourned the loss of an icon. Chapman pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
The Queen of Pop has had her fair share of frightening encounters with stalkers. One fan’s stalking was determined to be such a threat that he was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1996. Robert Dewey Hoskins had been obsessed with the icon for years and her bodyguards were forced to shoot him when he hopped the fence at her Hollywood Hills home. Hoskins was an extremely violent man and had said he was either going to marry Madonna or “slash her throat from ear to ear.” Hoskins served his time and was committed to a mental institution, but he escaped from the facility in early 2012. Thankfully, the man was caught by police and put back into custody, leaving Madonna and her family safe once again.
Beyonce is no stranger to conspiracy theories such as claims she faked her pregnancy and the wildly spread notion that she is a member of the Illuminati. However, one fan took conspiracy theories to a whole new level back in 2009 when he sent threatening letters to Beyonce that accused her of being an impostor who killed the real Queen Bey in order to take over the star’s life. The British fan named Bassey Essein allegedly tried to give Beyonce a personalized book full of notes on religion because he believed it would “help” her. The threatening letters led the court to slap Essein with an anti-harassment order. The case cost the star tens of thousands of pounds in legal fees, but Essien was warned to stay away from Beyonce and banned from contacting her or her entourage. I think it’s safe to say someone has been watching a little too much Invasion of the Body Snatchers.