Drake is the latest celebrity to be victimized by a so-called “super-fan,” who broke into his house for the second time. But he’s far from alone. Stalking appears to be on the rise posing a threat that needs to be taken seriously.
Most celebrities are glad to have fans that are super-loyal. But when adulation crosses the line into stalking, red flags should go up.
Although such antics are often comically dismissed, over-zealous fans and jealous acquaintances can also lead to tragic results.
Beatle John Lennon was killed by Mark David Chapman a so-called “super-fan” in 1980.
Actress Rebecca Schaeffer, the star of the hit sit-com “My Sister, Sam,” was stalked for three years by fan Robert John Bardo. He shot and killed her in 1989 when she answered the door to her home.
Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was killed by manager Yolanda Saldívar in 1995.
Fashion designer Gianni Versace was gunned down outside his South Beach home in Miami in 1997 by Andrew Cunanan, who was drawn to his celebrity.
“Saturday Night Live” actor Phil Hartman was murdered by his third wife, Brynn Omdahl, in 1998.
Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed on stage in 2004. His killer was diehard Pantera fan Nathan Gale, a former football player and U.S. Marine.
Christina Grimmie, a standout contestant on “The Voice,” was murdered by crazed fan Kevin James Loibl in front of stunned fans last June.
While tragic outcomes continue to this day, they are the exception rather than the rule. But attention from crazed fans should not be taken lightly, even when it seems innocent.
In Drake’s case, the 24-year-old woman first broke into his house in April. She was dubbed the “thirsty thief” after she raided his refrigerator.
She was discovered in a bedroom wearing one of the singer’s sweaters.
This week, She tried to talk her way into his mansion, again, but security called the police. Drake was not at home at the time.
Once police arrived, the woman became belligerent. She started “spitting at three deputies before being blasted with pepper spray,” according to gossip site TMZ.
She was charged with “trespassing and assault on a police officer.”
During the earlier break-in, Drake’s reps, at his request, asked the police to not press charges. Hopefully, this time, they won’t make the same mistake.
In many cases, celebrities are going to court seeking restraining orders to keep over-zealous fans at bay.
“How I Met Your Mother,” actress Alyson Hannigan was forced to get a restraining order against fan John Hobbs, after he said he would “take her to the afterlife.”
Actor Ryan Gosling also won a court order in 2014, restraining a woman who stalked him, claiming to be his “twin soul.”
Halie Berry, Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez, Usher, Gwyenth Paltrow, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna have all taken a similar course of action to prevent crazed fans from getting too close.
It’s the right thing to do, even at risk of alienating some followers.