There's a fine line between a healthy obsession and a compulsive one, but thankfully it's a path most of us manage to tread on the appropriate side of. When the media constantly enthuses about the highs and lows of celebdom it's sometimes easy to forget that A-listers aren't just there for our entertainment, hanging off planes and generally being fabulous. These figures who are so often portrayed as being omnipotent and invincible are humans too, just like us.
From breaking-and-entering to horrifying threats of physical harm, here are 18 of cases of stalkers who terrorized Hollywood:
1. Sandra Bullock - Joshua Corbett
In 2014, Joshua Corbett attempted to break into Sandra Bullock's L.A. home after allegedly becoming obsessed with the Gravity star and her toddler son, Louis. Not only did it come out that Corbett was intent on finding her, The LAPD also found a LOADED machine gun in his possession. Scary stuff!
2. Catherine Zeta-Jones - Dawnette Knight
33-year-old Dawnette Knight threatened to cut Catherine Zeta-Jones up into tiny little pieces and feed them to her dog. She also made numerous phone calls, sent letters and claimed she would assassinate CZJ just like JFK. All because she was madly in love with Michael Douglas. Knight was sentenced to 3 years in jail after admitting to one count of stalking and three counts of making criminal threats.
3. Tom Cruise - Edward Van Tassel
Iraq War veteran Edward Van Tassel got himself in a bit of trouble when he repeatedly tried to give a letter to Tom Cruise asking him to help other veterans. In fact, he was court ordered to stay away from the Mission: Impossible star. Seems a little harsh, but this is after he brandished a gun on the highway and well, weapon charges and celebrity harassment don't go so well together.
4. Gwyneth Paltrow - Dante Michael Soiu
Before he was declared legally insane and hospitalized, Gwyneth Paltrow's scary stalker sent her 5 letters a day alongside gifts, boxes filled with porn and a vibrator, telling her he "loved her." Oh yeah, and he also turned up at her parents' house, telling them he wanted to "cut the sin out of her with God's scalpel."
That's Se7en levels of creepy!
5. Beyoncé - Bassey Essien
In 2011 Beyoncé won a anti-harassment case against Bassey Essien, her obsessed stalker who claimed that she had murdered the real 'Crazy in Love' singer and was in fact an impostor, posing in the old Queen B's place. Right...
6. Miley Cyrus - Jason Luis Rivera
"I am friends with Miley Cyrus… She’s my wife. Me and Miley have been friends for five years."
Suuure you have, Jason. But that's what he told the police when he was caught trying to break into the 'Wrecking Ball' singer's home with a pair of scissors. Best laid plans and all that.
7. Nicole Kidman - Matthew Hooker
"I was attracted to her. I wrote her a love poem. I wrote her a letter. I went by her house to ask to take her to the ballet and to take her kids out to ice cream. That's it," Hooker told reporters.
Unfortunately for Matthew Hooker, what he deemed as romantic gestures, Nicole Kidman deemed as seriously, seriously creepy. Understandable, really. The Moulin Rouge star pressed charges against Hooker in 2001 and was granted a restraining order.
Throughout the investigation Hooker told press that he and Kidman had a "flirty" relationship. Also, this was all happening around the time he was attempting to run for president. Well, we all have goals.
8. Selena Gomez - Thomas Brodnicki
Selena Gomez was said to be "living in fear" after Thomas Brodnicki made it known that he'd been having conversations with God about killing the Spring Breakers star. In 2011 Gomez was granted a restraining order to which the 46-year-old obsessive stalker said:
"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."
9. Jodie Foster - John Hinckley
Does the name John Hinckley, Jr. ring any bells? Yup, he's the guy that failed to assassinate Ronald Reagan in 1981. And why did he try? To get Jodie Foster's attention. Hinckley was completely obsessed with the Taxi Driver actress and even stalked President Jimmy Carter in an attempt to get her interested. He was eventually tried and convicted on 13 offenses and sent to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in D.C.
Over the past seven months I've left you dozens of poems, letters and love messages in the faint hope that you could develop an interest in me. Although we talked on the phone a couple of times I never had the nerve to simply approach you and introduce myself.... The reason I'm going ahead with this attempt now is because I cannot wait any longer to impress you.
10. Justin Bieber - Dana Martin, Mark Staake and Tanner Ruane
Dana Martin was serving a life sentence in a New Mexico prison for the brutal rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl when he contracted Mark Staake and Staake's nephew, Tanner Ruane, to hunt down Bieber, castrate him and bring his "bits" back as a souvenir.
Lucky for Bieber, the plot was uncovered and the Staakes were arrested before they could carry out the plan.
11. Richard Gere - Ursula Reichert-Habbishaw
Richard Gere actually managed to get his stalker, Ursula Reichert-Habbishaw, kicked out of the United States! Over a 14 month period, Ms. Reichert-Habbishaw faxed Gere over 1,000 times, plus repeatedly called him and left messages such as, "I will stay with you for all time." She also let him know that she had a gun to kill herself with. Rather than being sentenced in the U.S., the judge gave her the option to fly back to Germany and never return - which wisely, she did.
12. Uma Thurman - Jack Jordan
Jack Jordan, was sentenced for 2 years when he admitted to harassing Kill Bill's badass star, Uma Thurman. He'd developed a rather charming habit of sending her greeting cards and letters which contained images of brides with their heads torn off alongside messages like, "My hands should be on your body at all times."
Arghhh! Creepy shit.
13. Justin Timberlake - Karen McNeil
After being arrested several times outside the home of Guns N' Roses frontman, Axl Rose, Karen McNeil cast her cuckoo gaze onto Justin Timberlake. Apparently the "Babylon witches" were on hot pursuit and she was terrified that they were going to cast a spell on her. She turned up at JT's house claiming to be a God and telling the singer they were destined to rule together.
She was promptly taken to a psychiatric facility by the authorities.
14. Steven Spielberg - Jonathan Norman
Spielberg's stalker Jonathan Norman received the largest punishment on this entire list, with a 25 year imprisonment. He was caught on Spielberg's property with duct tape, handcuffs and big plans to rape the director and make his wife watch. WTF.
15. John Lennon - Mark David Chapman
A face we'll never forget, Mark David Chapman is the man who assassinated John Lennon in December 1980. Chapman shot Lennon outside a NYC building and waited at the scene reading Catcher In The Rye until the police turned up. Chapter 27, the movie starring Jared Leto, focuses on the days leading up to the assassination.
“That bright light of fame, of infamy, notoriety was there. I couldn’t resist it. My self-esteem was shot, and I was looking for an easy way out.”
16. Madonna - Robert Dewey Hoskins
Back in 1995, Robert Dewey Hoskins received a 10-year prison sentence for stalking Material Girl Madonna. Threatening to slice her 'from ear to ear' if she did not marry him, Hoskins was shot by Madonna's security guards after jumping the fence to her private estate.
Although described as being “highly psychotic with violent tendencies,” Hoskins was able to walk out of a mental hospital, but was brought back in 2012 after reportedly making threats to Halle Berry. He was caught one week later.
17. Alyson Hannigan - John Hobbs
Alyson Hannigan was "in severe fear for her safety and the safety of her family," when John Hobbs repeatedly sent her terrifying messages that hinted at rape and murder. In 2013 she obtained a 3 year restraining order against him.
Some examples of what the How I Met Your Mother star was dealing with:
"Lets see How can I get myself in trouble today. If I go with what I've been accused of Most of my Life, I suppose I should start with being a rapist, so any nice girls out there want to get raped?"
"With that said, in 2013 I still can marry you tomorrow. I can kill you tomorrow too. Cause I simply like and love you as you live life. Aly ... It doesn't end. Even after death."
18. Blake Lively - Sergei Mifle
Sergei Mifle wanted to be famous and he certainly got what he wished for when he started stalking Gossip Girl star Blake Lively and her mother, Elaine. He would turn up on the set of the hit series claiming to have a "metaphysical connection" with Blake Lively. Thankfully both Blake and her mother were able to get a 3 year emergency restraining order.