Remember in Misery when the famous writer gets kidnapped by his “biggest fan” and endures months of pain and, well, misery before finally making his escape? To regular people, it’s a work of fiction. But for celebrities, there’s always the fear that it could become a reality for them some day.
According to the Network of Victim Assistance, 6.6 million people are victims of stalking behavior every year. Victims are of all races, colors and range in ages. However, women are three times more likely to be stalked than men. Statistics also show that three out of every four victims know the person who is stalking them. But because celebrities are public figures and have their private lives intruded on by the tabloids and paparazzi, they face many different challenges in their every day lives, when compared to the rest of us regular folks. This why the majority of celebrity stalkers end up being complete strangers; fans who turned obsessive.
Stalking can vary in severity, with some fans getting just a little bit crazier than the norm and being willing to go as far to tattoo their idols on their bodies or go to extreme measures in altering their bodies to look like them. Others, however, can become extremely dangerous, with some even ending with the worst possible scenario. Here are 16 examples of fans who took their love for their idols to an extreme. And in some cases, all the way to death.
16. Sandra Bullock’s Stalker Breaks Into Her Home With A Machine Gun
One of the more recent and definitely more terrifying cases of celebrity stalking occurred last year when Sandra Bullock came face to face with her stalker in her own home. Bullock was woken up in the middle of the night by what she said was banging in her house. When she went into the hallway, she found her stalker staring back at her with a loaded machine gun in hand. Bullock says she slammed the door shut and called 911. Authorities quickly responded and arrested 39 year old Josh Corbett, who began pleading, “Sandy, I’m sorry. Please don’t press charges.” Authorities charged Corbett with multiple weapon counts after finding an “arsenal” in his home. Bullock and her son Louie were unharmed.
15. Taylor Swift’s Stalker Threatens To Kill John Kerry
If you follow her on Instagram, it might seem like Taylor Swift never has a bad day. But that’s not always the case. In 2012, the pop princess was awarded a restraining order against Timothy Sweet, a man who had spent over a year becoming increasingly obsessed with her. Court documents revealed that Sweet sent Swift over 735 Tweets from January 2011 to May 2012. He began referring to Swift as his wife and sent her numerous hand written letters. But what set the whole ordeal over the top was when he began threatening to kill anyone who would dare to stand in the way of what he called their love. He even named the United States’ Secretary of State John Kerry by name, telling him to stay out of his way or he would kill him. Sweet was ordered to stay 100 yards away from Swift and her immediate family, whom he also tried contacting, and was forbidden from contacting her electronically.
14. Britney Spears’ Stalker Sues Britney Spears
Poor Britney. The pop icon has definitely seen her share of drama over the years. And back in 2002, before she went into full blown meltdown mode, Spears had stalker problems to handle when Masahiko Shizawa wouldn’t leave the singer alone. He began by sending Spears love letters, e-mails, selfies and messages such as “I’m chasing you.” Despite being slapped with a restraining order, Shizawa didn’t back down and still showed up outside of Spears’ two homes and at her parents’ home, even trying to get inside. Things went from creepy to completely bizarre, though, when Shizawa tried to sue Spears, claiming that he suffered extreme emotional distress after one of Spears’ bodyguards allegedly pointed a gun at him. The charges, however, were quickly dismissed.
13. Conan O’Brien’s Stalker Was Just In It For The Laughs
Before Conan was hashing it out with NBC and Jay Leno over hosting The Tonight Show, the red headed funny man was dueling it out in court with a stalker. But, get this, his stalker was a priest! Yes, Father David Ajemian was charged with sending O’Brien a ton of letters and DVD’s before forcing his way into a taping of the show in 2007, where he directly referred to himself to O’Brien as “your priest-stalker” and asked, “is this the way you treat your most dangerous fans?” Ajemian was stripped from his priesthood and slapped with a restraining order, but spoke out in his own defense, claiming that the incident was taken the wrong way and that he was just looking to break into the comedy business and thought O’Brien could help him out.”I’m not a stalker,” he said. “I think I said I’m your most dangerous fan or something. Meaning was that being a priest and someone who had this inside connection to his life a little bit, there was something dangerous about the idea of having a priest on a show like that. That’s actually what I meant by that line,” he said.
12. Justin Timberlake’s Stalker Pretends To Be God
Justin Timberlake has never had a shortage of female fans throwing themselves at him. But in 2009, one fan in particular decided to bring crazy back. Karen McNeil had shown up at Timberlake’s house before and had even gotten past his front gates, claiming to know the singer. But when she showed up again in November of 2009, she claimed that she was God and that her and Timberlake were destined to rule together. Reports say that McNeil also claimed that “Babylon witches” were after her, trying to cast a spell on her. The cops arrived and took her to a psychiatric unit for evaluation, where it was discovered that this wasn’t the first time that McNeil had stalked a singer. She was also allegedly obsessed with Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose and was arrested in front of his home several times.
11. Avril Lavigne’s Fan Sends Her A Dead Rabbit
Pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne has maintained a solid fan base over the years. As she has released new music and albums, her loyal fans have stuck by her. And when she married Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, they didn’t bat an eyelash. A few of them have turned from loyal fans into crazy over the years, though. She had a stalker altercation with a fan who wouldn’t leave her parents alone. And then there was the time when a fan sent her a rather macabre gift. During an interview, Lavigne was asked to name the weirdest gift she’s ever received from a fan. Lavigne replied by saying, “probably the dead rabbit I got sent in Japan.” She didn’t seem to make too much of an issue out of it, though. It’s as if he was a stalker boi, she said see ya later boi.
10. Justin Bieber’s Fan Gets Plastic Surgery To Look Like Him
Let’s say you’re a Belieber and you also have $100k burning a hole in your pocket. What do you do? Well, if you’re Toby Shelton, apparently, you get as much plastic surgery as possible to make yourself look like Justin Bieber. The 33 year old songwriter from Los Angeles says he began procedures including face fillers, a chin reduction and eyelid surgery, because he was jealous of the singer’s good looks. “He had this baby face that I just really like,” Shelton said. He also claims to have no regrets about the surgeries. “Some people buy fancy cars or fancy mansions,” Shelton said. “What I do with my money is I get surgery to look more like Justin Bieber.’
9. Drake’s Fan Tattoos His Name On Her Forehead
When a photo of a young woman with shaved eyebrows and a giant “DRAKE” tattooed across her forehead came out, a lot of people on the internet were skeptical that it was even real. As it turned out, though, it was very real. When Drake was asked to give his response to it, he was understandably not pleased. But not in the way you might think. Drake took major issue with the tattoo artist himself, not the fan. During a radio interview, the R&B singer took swipes at the person who would put a tattoo like that on someone’s forehead in the first place, saying that he shouldn’t be allowed to tattoo anyone and that if he were to ever run into him, he would “f–k him up.”To keep the drama ball rolling, the tattoo artist took swipes at Drake, calling him “soft” and a “goofnut” and said he didn’t even know who the singer was to begin with. In the end, Drake reportedly showed up at the tattoo shop where the incident occurred, with a rather beefy bodyguard, and made it very clear to the tattooist that he would be wise to keep his mouth shut.
8. Madonna’s Stalker Breaks Out Of His Mental Institution
In the 80s and 90s, there were very few stars as big as Madonna. That’s why it was no surprise when she encountered a stalker. But that stalker ended up being rather hardcore. Robert Dewey Hoskins became obsessed with the Material Girl and harassed her for years. Her bodyguards shot at him when he jumped the fence of her Hollywood home and he told authorities that he was going to marry the singer or “slit her throat from ear to ear.” Hoskins was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1996, after being deemed a violent threat. After his time was served, he was arrested again and was transported to a psychiatric hospital. Then in 2012, Madonna had a bit of a scare when Hoskins escaped the hospital. Luckily, he was apprehended by police and returned to the hospital in Norwalk, California, where he remains indefinitely.
7. A Fan Sends Norman Reedus A Boob
If you thought finding a gift for the guy who has everything was hard, try finding one for the guy who has nothing and slays zombies every week. Norman Reedus, better known as Daryl on the hit AMC zombie show The Walking Dead, has generated quite a cult following in light of the show’s massive success. Fans have even started a movement called If Daryl Dies, We Riot, to try to ensure that the show doesn’t kill his character off, like they’ve become known for doing. One fan realized that she would have to get a little crazy if she wanted to get noticed by the dystopian actor, and so she sent him a breast implant. She said she thought it would help cheer him up because he “seemed depressed.” Did it work? It’s possible, considering that Norman is said to actually use the implant as a cell phone cradle.
6. Jennifer Lopez’s Stalker Moves In With Her
Jennifer Lopez wasn’t messing around when a guy went from fan to creepy. She filed for a protective order against John Dubis, after he contacted her mother to try to get to the actress and won. But, as is the case with many stalkers, this didn’t stop Dubis. In fact, it only seemed to make him worse. Dubis was actually able to successfully move into Lopez’s pool house for several days, managing to fly under the radar of Lopez’s security team. He even had the audacity to take photos of himself on the property and posted them to Facebook. Dubis was successfully able to pull off this stunt for several days before getting caught.
5. Kesha Fans Send Her Human Teeth
The weirdest part about this very true tale is that as soon as you hear it’s about Kesha, it’s not all that weird anymore. But yes, in 2012, Kesha reportedly received over 1,000 human teeth. The part that would be strange for anyone else but makes perfect sense for Kesha, is the fact that she requested them. Reportedly, the risque singer asked her fans to send her their teeth so that she could turn them into fashion. So, that’s what they did. Later, when she went into rehab, she requested her fans send her more teeth so that she could make some kind of art with it. But, the hospital wouldn’t allow it, so hopefully not too many fans pulled out another molar in the name of Kesha’s hobbies.
4. Jared Leto’s Fan Cut Off Her Own Ear
Jared Leto stole the hearts of girls all over the world when he hit the small screen as Jordan Catalano on the 90s sleeper hit, My So Called Life. Since then, he’s gone through quite a few different stages, including Oscar winning movie rolls and touring the world with his hit band 30 Seconds to Mars, which has created an even bigger female fan base along the way. But one fan took it to the brink of acceptable and possibly even sanity, when she cut her own ear off and sent it to the actor. The message that she sent with the ear read “Are you listening?”. It must sound creepier than it really was, though, because Leto reportedly saved the ear. He even reportedly put a string through it to use as a necklace. Take from that what you will.
3. Selena’s Stalker Ran Her Fan Club And Then Killed Her
Selena’s tragic story is well known, but still just as sad as it was the day that it happened. It also serves as a reminder that no matter how harmless some of the previous stories might sound, or regardless of how a celebrity might seem to overreact, all stalkers should be taken very seriously because you never know when the worst case scenario could be right around the corner. In Selena’s case, it was March 31, 1995, when Selena met with her newly-fired fan club manager, Yolanda Saldivar, who then shot and killed the star. In her home, authorities found what they called a shrine to the late singer, complete with posters, candles and videos. Saldivar was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. She is eligible for parole in 2025.
2. John Lennon’s Stalker Shot And Killed Him In The Name Of Holden Caulfield
No one can say that John Lennon didn’t live a full life. As arguably the most popular member of the legendary band The Beatles, Lennon’s life was filled with personal ups and downs, but non-stop success. He was living with wife Yoko Ono in a New York apartment when on December 8, 1980, the world was about to lose one of its biggest artists. The morning of his death, John Chapman bought a copy of the book, The Catcher In The Rye and signed it as what he called his “statement.” He loitered around the entrance of Lennon’s apartment building and got Lennon to sign a copy of Double Fantasy for him earlier in the day. When Lennon returned later that evening around 10:49 p.m., Chapman fired five shots and the songwriter, four of which hit and killed him. It is said that Chapman was obsessed with the singer and became obsessed with killing him. He was charged with second-degree murder, but has been denied parole five times in Attica State Prison. Others have speculated over the years, though, that Lennon’s murder is not as clear cut as it appears and with years of being followed and harassed by the U.S. Government, there is reasonable doubt in the case to suspect that someone else was behind the plot to have the Imagine singer killed.
1. John Hinckley Tried To Assassinate The President To Impress Jodi Foster
John Hinkley saw the movie Taxi Driver in 1976, starring then-new actress Jodi Foster, as a child prostitute and immediately became obsessed with her. When Foster enrolled in classes at Yale, Hinckley moved close to the University so that he could be close to her. He began slipping poems and messages under her door. But, when that didn’t work, Hinckley decided he needed a bigger way to get the attention of such a big star. So, he conspired to assassinate the president of the United States. No, really. He tried going after Jimmy Carter first, but he ended up getting arrested first. Then, in 1981, he fired six shots at newly-elected President Ronald Reagan. Although none of the shots hit him directly, one ricocheted off of a limo and struck him. Hinckley was arrested at the scene and Reagan made a full recovery. The shooter has said that his act was “the greatest love offering in the history of the world” and that he was devastated that Foster didn’t share his feelings. He remains at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Washington D.C. to this day.
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