Gwyneth Paltrow's fun-filled Super Bowl Sunday gave way to tears on Monday as the actress testified in a Los Angeles court against a man she says has been stalking her for 17 years.
For nearly three hours, Paltrow described the fear and discomfort she's felt since Dante Soiu allegedly resumed his perverted correspondences with her in 2009.
Paltrow last faced Soiu in 2001 as he stood trial for stalking her, beginning around the time she won the best actress Oscar in 1999. Soiu was found not guilty by reason of insanity and spent the next several years in a mental institution.
Soiu was arrested again last year after police say he began sending Paltrow pornographic letters, sex toys and other items that made her feel threatened and afraid.
In 2010, Paltrow said the correspondences from Soiu became frequent and scary enough to her that she sent one of her body guards to check on him in his native Ohio, the New York Daily News reports.
"The letters were starting again with frequency. I had two children at that point. I was concerned. And I asked (my bodyguard) to go and to investigate the situation firsthand," she testified.
As evidence, Deputy District Attorney Wendy Segall pointed to a box of 66 letters and packages that Soiu allegedly addressed to Paltrow or her lawyer between 2009 and 2015.
Paltrow said she last received a correspondence from Soiu in January 2015.
"I found it very, very upsetting. I had children at this point, yes. And this was something I had been through a very long and traumatic experience with already," she testified.
According to the Associated Press, Paltrow calmly read exerpts from some of the letters she allegedly received from Soiu.
"I have a goal: to marry Gwyneth Paltrow and take care of her. How that will happen, I don’t know for now. When that will happen I don’t know for now. But it will happen, because I have Faith that it is possible," read one letter from 2009.
Another ran: "Reject me and my words and God will curse you…Vengeance is the lord and you will reap what you sow."
When a prosecutor asked Paltrow if these letters made her feel afraid for her safety and that of her two children, her calm demeanor shattered.
"Yes," she said, and began to cry.
Soiu has pleaded not guilty to felony stalking and his attorney is arguing that his writings were non-threatening and focused on ministering to the actress.