June 17, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Gwyneth Paltrow Stalker Wants Forgiveness, No Longer Porn Addict

Gwyneth Paltrow choked up when shown an email she wrote to her security team after she received a letter at her Brentwood home that she believed was from her stalker Dante Soiu. (Thinkstock: Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Gwyneth Paltrow choked up when shown an email she wrote to her security team after she received a letter at her Brentwood home that she believed was from her stalker Dante Soiu. (Thinkstock: Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

An Ohio man who allegedly continued to stalk Oscar- winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow — sending her a flood of letters and emails after being convicted in 2000 for the same crime and sent to a mental health facility — only wanted forgiveness and to move on, his attorney said Thursday, while a prosecutor called it “a case of a love-obsessional stalker that is never going away.”

The lawyers’ closing arguments came after defendant Dante Michael Soiu, 66, took the stand wearing a maroon pullover sweater and told the six-man, six- woman jury that the letters to Paltrow were “a matter of seeking forgiveness for what I’d done 17 years ago.”

It was “part of the AA program … making amends,” Soiu said.

Soiu has a girlfriend — “I write letters to her all the time” — and is no longer addicted to pornography, Soiu told jurors.

“I’m more balanced in my mind. I have a lot of counselors, a lot of doctors. I take medication,” he said.

Under cross-examination by Deputy District Attorney Wendy Segall, Soiu admitted to writing a letter to a woman he met online — not his girlfriend — offering to let her do whatever she wanted to him sexually and sending along a black fishnet body stocking. The letter and package were returned.

“She gave me a false address,” Soiu said, explaining that he sent the letter “reluctantly” because “she wanted to talk to me in a very sexy way.”

During her closing, Segall anticipated the defense argument.

“What they want you to believe is that Mr. Soiu is a lonely old guy who is writing letters trying to minister to people,” the deputy district attorney said.

“He sent 566 communications and not one of them has been answered” over 16 years, Segall said. Though the FBI and Paltrow’s mother and bodyguard all asked him to stop, “Nothing has deterred this man. Nothing.”

Before his earlier conviction, Soiu threatened to kill Paltrow’s parents and sent the actress dildos, vibrators and anal beads.

Segall says Soiu hasn’t changed at all, but is now smart enough to cloak his communications in religiousity.

“It’s very calculated,” the deputy district attorney said. “He’s attempting to conceal or disguise his true intent.”

“He wants to marry her to save her. That is creepy and scary and he has never let go of that belief,” Segall told jurors. “His communications are full of references to sin and death … and the intentions of spending eternity with her.”

“Reject me or my words and God will curse you to your face. Vengeance is the Lord’s,” Segall read from one of Soiu’s letters.

Defense attorney Lynda Westlund contends that Soiu was not trying to threaten Paltrow, but only sent her letters expressing his Christian beliefs.

“Counsel has no business casting aspersions on someone else’s religious beliefs,” Westlund argued. “This is a case of mistaken intentions.”

She argued that jurors needed to separate what happened before Soiu’s last conviction, behavior that she called “deplorable,” and now.

“He was tried and he’s paid,” Westlund said. “He’s told you he was sick.”

However, “it is possible for somebody to rehabilitate and change in 16 years,” Westlund said, asking jurors to give her client “a little bit of credit.”

Westland told the panel that Soiu did not make a “credible threat” against Paltrow as defined by law.

Before closings, Detective Brian Coleman took the stand to discuss his interview with Soiu when the defendant was arrested in Ohio in February 2015.

“He had a premonition that he was going to have a relationship with Ms. Paltrow … he didn’t know how he was going to go about it because she was such a big movie star,” Coleman testified.

Paltrow won an Oscar for best actress for her work in “Shakespeare in Love.”

“He said he was sending her religious tracts in an effort to help her,” Coleman said, but told the prosecutor that the primary reason for the letters was to further a relationship with Paltrow.

“He wanted to prove to her that he wasn’t wacko or dangerous and that he is not going to come and get her and cut her up in little pieces and stuff,” Coleman said Soiu told him.

Westlund reminded Coleman of other comments her client made during that interview, including that he was ready to “let bygones be bygones” after Paltrow failed to answer any of his letters. “You can’t beat a dead horse. Life goes on,” Soiu told the detective in Ohio.

Testifying Monday, the 43-year-old Paltrow said she has “been dealing with this for 17 years” and feared for her safety and her children’s safety.

Tearful at times, Paltrow read portions of more than 60 letters and emails allegedly sent by Soiu that she described as ranging from “religious to pornographic to threatening.”

The actress choked up when shown an email she wrote to her security team after she received a letter at her Brentwood home that she believed was from Soiu. She said her mail is generally screened by others, and does not arrive at her home.

“I was terrified,” she told the jury.

She told her security team that she wanted to learn the “bite” and “attack” commands for a guard dog. “I don’t want him to sleep locked up anymore,” she wrote, adding “I need a panic button.”

She said Soiu sent her women’s clothing that was intercepted by security personnel.

Soiu allegedly sent a letter — an exhibit at trial — to Paltrow’s husband Chris Martin, writing, “To the person who is doing it all wrong, you need to turn around and do it right.”

Soiu is charged with one felony count of stalking that occurred between April 2014 and February 2015..He allegedly sent nearly 70 threatening letters and packages to the actress beginning in 2009, the same behavior that had landed him in a hospital before.

Beginning in March 1999, Soiu sent hundreds of letters, emails and packages to the actress — sometimes four or five a day —  and then showed up outside her parents’ Southern California home in May of that year. He returned twice even after being warned by the FBI to stay away.

In 2002, a state appeals court upheld his conviction, noting that in one of the many letters he sent to the actress, Soiu wrote that “he was going to take God’s scalpel and cut the ‘sin’ out of Ms. Paltrow.”

On the stand today, Soiu said, “I felt bad about what happened before … it was bad language, it was inappropriate and not respectful.”

The appeals court noted that Soiu admitted writing about 3,000 letters to former President George Bush and acknowledged sending 150 letters to President Bill Clinton, in which Soiu said he was “working on helping him come out of his sexual problems.”

The prosecutor asked the jurors to stop Soiu.

“It is your job to tell this defendant it is enough already and to make this nightmare go away,” Segall said.

The defense attorney argued that the prosecution failed to make the legal case for stalking.

“We don’t believe that there was a credible threat” that would cause Paltrow to “reasonably fear for her safety,” Westlund told jurors.

The defense attorney will continue her closing argument Tuesday morning and the prosecution will have an opportunity for rebuttal.

Related Posts

Marina del Rey Sportfishing: A Great Day on the Water

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Fishing is a pastime like no other. You can experience the nostalgia of that pastime in real time at Marina...

University of Miami President to Replace Gene Block Amid Controversy

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Julio Frenk Named New UCLA Chancellor at UC Regents Meeting The search for a new chancellor at UCLA is over....

Culver City Police Collaborate with VA and LASD to Aid Unhoused Veteran

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Joint Efforts Lead to Successful Assistance for a Veteran in Need The Culver City Police Mental Evaluation Team collaborated with...

West Hollywood Kicks Off WeHo Pride Arts Festival This Weekend

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Celebration Features Diverse LGBTQ+ Events From June 14-16 Each year, the City of West Hollywood celebrates the artistic contributions of...

30th Anniversary of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman Murders Commemorated with Virtual Vigil

June 13, 2024

June 13, 2024

Family Honors Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in Virtual Candlelight Vigil This week marks the 30th anniversary of the...

Culver City PRCS Hosts Summer Splash Kick-Off Event

June 13, 2024

June 13, 2024

Join PRCS for Fun-Filled Recreational Swim Activities The Parks, Recreation, and Community Services (PRCS) department of Culver City is gearing...

Students for Justice in Palestine Establish Third Encampment on the UCLA Campus on June 10

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

UCLA Administration Calls in Four Police Groups Within Two Hours, Arrests 27 Pro-Palestinian protesters briefly established a third encampment on...

Los Angeles City Council Postpones Vote on Marilyn Monroe’s Former Home

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Decision on Historic Monument Status Rescheduled for June 26  After Judge James Chalfant issued a preliminary decision on the motion...

AMC Theatres Unveils Eight Money-Saving Deals for Summer Movie Season

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Enjoy Discounted Tickets, Special Promotions, and Fan Favorites at AMC If you are a movie lover who has not been...

Hang-Ten Therapeutics-Surf Therapy for Kids: Catching Waves and Finding your Calm

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

A different type of therapy is making waves in Los Angeles. Hang-Ten Therapeutics, founded by Naomi Matanick, a licensed pediatric...

(Video) The Opening of Pico Roots Marketplace in Santa Monica

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024

Lots of friendly vendors with wonderful gifts, cards, clothing, decor, and coffee beans available at 1819 Pico Boulevard. @culvercitywlanews The...

Tien Pham Connects Personal History with Role in Robert Downey Jr.’s “The Sympathizer”

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

Family’s Harrowing Escape From Vietnam Mirrors the Acclaimed HBO Max Series Vietnamese American actor-musician-producer Tien Pham finds a deep connection...

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Debuts Refreshing Summer Menu with New Boba and Matcha Drinks

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

Enjoy Four New Beverages and Exclusive Boba Happy Hours from June 10 to June 13 The Coffee Bean & Tea...

FDA Issues Warning on Potentially Contaminated Shellfish from Oregon and Washington

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

Shellfish From These Areas Carries Risk of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning The FDA has issued an alert advising consumers, restaurants, and...

(Video) Pro-Palestine Student Protesters at UCLA Set Up a Third Encampment on Monday Afternoon

June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

UCPD and the UCLA Administration almost immediately called in UCPD, LAPD, Culver City Police Department and California Highway Patrol officers....