Is a person even a celebrity if they do not have fans? After all, these are the people who buy movie tickets and merchandise. Fans tune into TV shows week after week and create fan accounts to drum up additional support on social media. Sure, there are plenty of fans who look up to their favorite movie stars and singers, but if anything, the appreciation should be reciprocated on both ends. If celebs didn’t have people supporting them, they wouldn’t be considered “famous.”
However, that doesn’t mean that fans are entitled to access their favorite entertainers whenever they want. Yes, these people are public figures, but they do have the right to privacy, despite how overexposed some of them might be on social media via entertainment news outlets. Boundaries are essential and should be enforced. Unfortunately, there are some stars who have had some downright scary encounters with their biggest fans, even in the supposed “safety” of their own homes. These celebs have been put in some truly frightening situations.
Miley Cyrus didn't consent to a kiss from a fan
In June 2019, Miley Cyrus was in Barcelona for a performance, per TMZ. Unfortunately, the trip didn’t go as planned when Cyrus and her then-husband, Liam Hemsworth, tried to navigate through a big crowd. A stranger “managed to get his arm around Miley’s neck,” touched her hair, and pulled her in to go in for a kiss, which was all captured in a video that went viral on Twitter. Cyrus pushed him away, and another onlooker shoved him as well, but the invasion of privacy had a ripple effect beyond the incident itself.
After the encounter, the Hannah Montana alum tweeted, “She can be wearing what she wants. She can be a virgin. She can be sleeping with 5 different people. She can be with her husband. She can be with her girlfriend. She can be naked. She CAN’T be grabbed without her consent.”
Cyrus shared a screenshot from Facebook, which included one person who asked, “You wanted to be ‘sexy,’ what do you expect?” Another Facebook user commented, “Well what do they expect when they dress like w***es.” Along with the screenshot, Cyrus wrote, “Don’t f*ck with my freedom,” along with the words “still not asking for it” in a hashtag. As if it wasn’t bad enough that Cyrus was groped and forced into a kiss without her consent, she had to defend herself following an experience where she was clearly the victim.
A man tried to marry Gwyneth Paltrow for 17 years
Gwyneth Paltrow testified in court against Dante Michael Soiu in 2016, claiming that she had safety concerns because she received letters and gifts from him for 17 years, per Reuters. This was the second time Paltrow’s admirer was on trial for stalking charges, but “he was found not guilty by reason of insanity in a 2001 trial.” Paltrow was concerned because he sent letters to her home in Los Angeles. In one letter, he wrote, “Now you must die. Yourself, must die so that Christ can have preeminence.” Paltrow described his writing as “religious to pornographic to threatening.” Soiu pleaded not guilty to the stalking charges.
BBC reported that Soiu wanted to marry Paltrow, claiming, “I was trying to show I had changed and I had become a different person,” since the first time they went to court. He said, “I wanted to show a new face towards her.” In 2016, ET reported that he was found not guilty in court and that he would be discharged later that day. In contrast, he was committed to a mental health facility for six years following the first case Paltrow had against him. Soiu’s lawyer said, “We’re dealing with a lonely guy who’s on supplemental security income, and sits in his apartment in Ohio at his computer and writes letters to Angelina Jolie, Sylvester Stallone, Julia Roberts, President Obama, Michelle Obama.” She claimed that Paltrow was the only one who deemed his correspondence to be “threatening.”
A man spent 8 days tracking down Jennifer Aniston
Who doesn’t want to be Friends with Jennifer Aniston? She even has a lot of fans who want to be more than friends, to the point that could be considered “scary.” In July 2010, Jason Peyton drove from Pennsylvania to California on a quest to “locate and marry [Aniston], with whom he believes he is in a relationship,” according to court documents obtained by TMZ. He showed up to “a location he believes she frequents” in a car that had the words “I LOVE YOU JENNIFER ANISTON” carved into it. Peyton had an unspecified “sharp object” with him along with a “bag, a roll of duct tape and written messages about” the actress. His mom called the cops when she realized he was looking for Aniston. He was put on a psychiatric hold, and he was ordered to stay 100 yards from Aniston, her home, her work, and the people she works with, per a temporary restraining order.
Days later, R Online reported that Aniston was granted a permanent restraining order against Peyton. In a signed declaration that was shared in court, the celebrity said, “Due to Mr. Peyton’s delusional compulsion and increasingly harassing, stalking and threatening conduct, I have been subjected to a course of conduct which has and is seriously alarming, annoying and harassing me.”
“Mr. Peyton’s ongoing, ever-increasing, aggressive and harassing conduct are extremely distressing. I fear for my personal safety and that of those around me,” Aniston wrote.
A man was arrested for showing up at Selena Gomez's home multiple times
A fan named Che Cruz was arrested for breaking into Selena Gomez’s house in March 2014 while she was home, according to a report from Daily Mail. He could have served 45 days in jail, but he was actually released just two days later. Despite being on probation, he immediately returned to Gomez’s property, which resulted in him getting arrested for the second time in the same week. It is unclear if the Disney Channel alum was home the second time Cruz showed up. He was hit with a charge for “felony stalking and violating a court order.” He was sent back to jail on bail set at $160,000. Initially, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In June 2014, the Associated Press reported that Cruz, who was homeless, was ordered to spend six months at a residential treatment facility in addition to a year of psychological treatment. Instead of pleading “not guilty” again, he submitted a “no contest” plea for stalking the “Revival” singer. He was ordered to stay at least 200 yards away from Gomez for ten years.
Sandra Bullock hid in her closet when a stalker broke into her home
Sandra Bullock has portrayed characters who had to navigate high-pressure situations, like when she drove that explosive bus in Speed. Thankfully, Bullock is equipped to handle a crisis in real life too. In 2014, Bullock hid in her closet, calling the police while a man named Joshua James Corbett looked for her, per USA Today. Three years later, he pleaded “no contest” to stalking and burglary charges. He was sentenced to probation and ordered to seek treatment at a mental health facility. As a part of his probation, Corbett had to stay away from Bullock and not attempt to contact her for 10 years. He was outside of Bullock’s house “several days” before scaling the fence and going inside. After he was arrested, cops found a stash of illegal weapons at his home. However, he didn’t have any weapons with him during the break-in, but he did have a notebook filled with photos of the actress and a “love letter” that he wrote to her, according to The Guardian.
His attorney said the letter contained “nothing but love and admiration” for Bullock, emphasizing that there was “nothing in there about harming her.” The lawyer claimed that “people are trying to make more of the case than there is.” In 2017, Corbett’s lawyer promised, “He is a whole person now and is never going to bother her again,” following a three-year jail stint (via BuzzFeed News).
A woman hid in John Travolta's closet
In August 2019, John Travolta was promoting The Fanatic. In the film, he portrays a fan that stalks his favorite action movie star, per IMDb. While promoting the project, Travolta reflected on his decades in the spotlight. Overall, he has a positive takeaway, acknowledging that being a celebrity gives him a “golden ticket all over the world.” As a result, he does not mind if he is asked to “sign autographs and take pictures” with the people who have been supporting him for years. To him, “it’s not a big price to pay,” but it is not always that simple.
“I lived in Santa Barbara about 30 years ago, and someone snuck into my house. I opened the closet, and there she was,” Travolta recalled in an interview with People. The Pulp Fiction star admitted, “It did scare me,” before sharing that “it turned out to be an innocent person.” The actor rationalizes, “She was a girl who probably wanted to meet me and didn’t know how to do it.” Discussing the same incident with Us Weekly, Travolta said it was “the only one crazy thing that’s ever occurred.” He recalled, “I opened the closet, hearing something, and it scared the daylights out of me.”
Regardless of how frightened he was at that moment, he believes that his fans “have relatively been loving and committed and dedicated for 45 years.” The Grease star insisted, “I never doubt the intention of my fans.”
A fan pulled Kylie Jenner's hair
In September 2015, Kylie Jenner was living her best life. She turned 18 a month prior and finally confirmed her long-rumored romance with Tyga, following a year of speculation. She was on hand to support Tyga, who was performing with Chris Brown at a concert in Anaheim, Calif. After the event, the beauty mogul and the rapper were walking out of the venue, hand in hand, while some fans screamed “Kylie.” Whose concert was it again?
As the couple attempted to move through the crowd, a concertgoer grabbed Jenner by her mint green hair, pulling her head back. TMZ captured a video of the incident, which included Kyle grabbing her head with a look of shock on her face. Tyga just kept on walking, still grasping onto Jenner’s hand, seemingly not realizing what just happened. Soon after, Jenner’s security team came through, allowing her to get away safely.
According to Daily Mail, Jenner’s older sister Khloe Kardashian was with her at the concert, but she did not appear in the video that was shared by TMZ. The outlet also shared photos of her from the following morning, revealing that Jenner ditched the mint green hair (which may have been a wig) in favor of her dark, natural hair color. Sure, the reality TV spawn is known for changing up her hair color on the reg, but maybe she got rid of the green to shake off the memory of the hair-pulling incident.
A stranger drove across the country to Charlize Theron's home
Typically, flowers are a welcomed gift. However, Charlize Theron wasn’t happy when a stranger showed up to her California home in 2015 with a bouquet, per TMZ. He rang the buzzer at the front gate of her house, but he didn’t exit the property when the Oscar-winning actress instructed him to “just leave them.” When he wouldn’t leave, Theron called the police, and he was arrested for stalking. According to the Business Standard, he didn’t want to leave until he could give her the flowers in person. ABC 7 reported that the man in question was Stanislav Sonseadec. He was released from jail the day after the incident when he came through with the $150,000 bail. The outlet shared that Sonseadec lived in Chicago, and he bought a car right before he drove to California to see Theron.
TMZ revealed that the District Attorney declined to charge Sonseadec because there wasn’t substantial evidence that he “intended to place Charlize in any danger.” Additionally, a language barrier seemed to play a factor in Sonseadec’s failure to leave Theron’s property, as he is Russian and reportedly didn’t have the best grasp of the English language. Los Angeles police officer Matthew Ludwig told a detective that Sonseadec “loved” Theron (via Patch). Deputy District Attorney Wendy Segall acknowledged that Theron “has had stalkers in the past” but insisted there wasn’t “evidence that the suspect intended to place her in fear for her safety.”
There was 'only a door between' Daniel Radcliffe and two Harry Potter fans
After ten years of playing the title character in the Harry Potter movie franchise, Daniel Radcliffe amassed a loyal fan following. Unfortunately, that group includes some movie watchers who go beyond fanning out over his work. In 2011, the same year that the final Harry Potter film was released, Radcliffe talked about some “presents” he received from fans throughout the years. According to Stuff, Radcliffe told Empire he has received “a lot of scrapbooks” with photos of himself, which made him wonder if people think that celebrities just “sit around reflecting on their fame.” He added, “I get sent bizarre Freddy Kruger-like masks,” which doesn’t actually relate to Harry Potter, but that’s not the creepiest fan interaction that Radcliffe has ever had. Not by a long shot.
As Radcliffe recalled to the outlet, “I also got sent a photograph of a milk bottle and a door of a house,” which is definitely strange, but it was actually much more personal than that. The Broadway alum revealed, “It was my house,” indicating that whoever took the photo knows where he lives and went to his home. Radcliffe said, “There were two people standing in front of it, who took a photo of themselves and sent it to my house.”
“There was only a door between us,” the former child star reflected. He said it was “very strange,” but, thankfully, that fan interaction seemingly didn’t escalate beyond the unwanted home visit.
50 Catholic school girls pinned Penn Badgley to a fence
Penn Badgley got his big break as an actor when Gossip Girl premiered in 2007. The series was an immediate hit, turning Badgley into a major celebrity overnight. He reflected on his earliest fan encounter during a 2011 interview with People. Unfortunately/fortunately, his first fan experience was also his most intense. Mere days after Gossip Girl aired its first episode, some of the cast members were shooting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Badgley wasn’t even in the scene, but his co-stars texted him about the mob of viewers who wanted to meet them all. Badgley claimed, “I tried to come down and wasn’t able to get to the Met because probably, like, 40 or 50 Catholic schoolgirls all swarmed me and pinned me up against a chain-link fence.”
He confessed, “At first, it was entertaining.” However, the girls took things to another level when “they started pulling at [his] clothes,” which the You star felt “was a little aggressive.” He said, “Then I realized I couldn’t get out, even though they’re all [smaller].” Thankfully a “bodyguard came out of nowhere” to save Badgley. He compared the rescue to “holding on to a rock in raging rapids.” Despite the scary situation, Badgley admitted that he enjoys being famous, even though it “means you have access to the most volatile, crazy social situations.” He recognized that fame is “bizarre,” before admitting, “ultimately, I would recommend it.”
A Paula Abdul fanatic committed suicide outside her home
Sandra Goodspeed was such a big fan of Paula Abdul that she legally changed her name to “Paula Goodspeed,” per People. In 2008, Goodspeed sent the singer flowers with a note that was signed “Love, J.T.,” advising Abdul to contact a “new cell phone number.” Initially, Abdul thought that her then-boyfriend J.T. Torregiani changed his phone number. When she asked him about it and he denied changing his number, Abdul realized that Goodspeed was behind the gesture. Days later, Goodspeed was found dead in her car, which was parked near Abdul’s house. The two Paulas met three years prior when Goodspeed auditioned for American Idol. During the audition, Goodspeed showcased her super fandom for Abdul, who was a judge on the singing competition show. A detective told Reuters that Goodspeed’s death “appear[ed] to be a suicide by overdose.” He said there was prescription medication in the car, along with Abdul’s CDs and photos of her.
A month after Goodspeed’s death, Abdul told Billy Bush, “I was very blessed and lucky to have been at [work at American Idol‘s] Hollywood Week when it happened” (via Access). Abdul claimed Goodspeed “attempted to [commit suicide near her home] a few months prior” while she was out of town. As a result of Goodspeed’s death, Abdul put her house up for sale, explaining, “My address was announced and [it was shown] how you could get into my house.” As a result, she employed full-time security.
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