The rich and famous seem to have it all, but among all those adoring fans, some delusional ones can pose a threat. These dangerous obsessions include stalking situations to attacks and some have even turned deadly. Some disturbed individuals will stop at nothing to get to their favorite stars.
In the age of social media, celebrities seem more accessible than ever. However, even before the internet, some obsessive fans took their admiration way too far. Whether it is famous actors, musicians, or athletes, all are equally as vulnerable to being targeted by a fan. They might be the people who admire the celebrities the most, but that’s not always the case.
Kim Kardashian Was Stalked for Days
Just a few days before Kim Kardashian’s 2016 Paris robbery, Kim was stalked by two men who were after her $4 million diamond ring. They tailed her and gathered information to plan the robbery. The team of robbers saw her flaunting expensive jewelry all over social media and knew she would be in Paris.
Kim always attends Paris Fashion Week, so they had the perfect opportunity to attack her. One of them tried to access Kim’s apartment before the robbery but failed to get in. One of the robbers joined the paparazzi to get inside information about Kim’s movements.
Her Stalkers Found the Perfect Opportunity
On October 3, 2016, two armed men entered Kim’s apartment after threatening a hotel employee. They tied her up and put her in the bathroom while stealing $10 million worth of jewelry. She thought they were going to kill her. Kim was alone because her bodyguard was at a club with her sisters.
Luckily, Kim escaped unharmed, but it caused lots of trauma. Unfortunately, none of her jewelry has been recovered, but many people have been arrested in relation to the case. The alleged mastermind, Aomar Ait Khedache, wrote Kim an apology letter from jail.
Fan Club Gone Too Far
Selena Quintanilla-Perez quickly rose to fame and became the “Queen of Tejano music.” She was on the verge of crossing into pop superstardom with the release of her first English album. Sadly, Selena wouldn’t get to bask in the glory of her massive success. She had a large following and they created a Selena fan club.
The president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, grew close to Selena and the Quintanilla family. She was a super fan, and the two had a friendship for a few years. However, Saldivar’s admiration for Selena turned into an obsession over the years. She was too close to the singer.
The Argument Turned Fatal
Selena lived in Texas, so on March 30, 1995, Saldivar checked into a Days Inn in Corpus Christi, Texas. She asked Selena to meet her, so Selena went to Saldivar’s hotel the following day. They ended up arguing over some financial documents that the singer needed to file her taxes.
As Selena headed for the door, Saldivar pulled out a gun and fatally wounded the singer in the back. She was declared dead at the hospital. After a 10-hour stand-off, Saldivar was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. She is still serving her sentence, but she might be eligible for parole in 2025.
Andres Escobar Cost His Country the World Cup
While mistakes in sports happen frequently, Columbian soccer player Andres Escobar got the ultimate punishment for his mistake. The Columbian team was favored to win the 1994 World Cup, but Columbia lost in a 2-1 upset when Escobar attempted to block a shot.
Escobar accidentally kicked it into his team’s goal instead of stopping the ball from going in the net. His fans turned on him, and people said he disgraced his country. He couldn’t go anywhere without people shouting horrible things at him because he lost the match.
He Tried to Move On
Ten days after the match, Escobar joined friends for dinner when three people began shouting insults at him. The situation quickly escalated before anyone could understand what was happening. According to a witness, there was gunfire, and Escobar fell to the ground.
Escobar was shot 12 times and passed away 45 minutes after the attack. Columbian authorities believed Escobar was marked as a target by drug traffickers who lost money on the game. They were released from jail 11 years into a 43-year sentence.
Brad Pitt’s Stalker Got Into His House
Back in 1999, Athena Ronaldo was 19 when she went to Brad Pitt’s mansion in LA and got inside his home. She made a doll for Pitt and wanted to deliver it to him personally. She climbed the fence and walked around the grounds for three hours.
Once she was inside Pitt’s house, Ronaldo looked through his belongings, put on his clothes, and got into his bed. She was there for about 10 hours until the housekeeper discovered her asleep in Pitt’s bed. She got three years’ probation and wasn’t allowed near Pitt.
A Target of “Convenience”
John Lennon’s death is one of the most famous in modern history. Mark Chapman waited for Lennon outside his Manhattan apartment on December 8, 1980, which wasn’t uncommon because many fans would stand outside his residence. Lennon would often sign autographs for those hanging around.
Around five in the evening, Chapman approached Lennon for an autograph, but he didn’t leave. When Lennon returned to his apartment around 11 p.m., Chapman was still waiting outside. As Lennon got closer, Chapman shot him four times, killing him. It shocked the world.
There Were Other Targets
Chapman gave conflicting statements about why he killed Lennon. In 2010, he said he had a list of targets, including Elizabeth Taylor, Paul McCartney, and Johnny Carson. However, Lennon was the most convenient target. He also said he hated the song “Imagine.”
Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison and was denied parole for the 11th time in 2020. Millions of people mourned Lennon’s death and created a memorial of flowers and posters outside his Manhattan apartment and residences in England.
Beyonce’s Stalker Said She Is an Imposter
Beyonce had to increase her security during a trip to London for a performance because of a creepy fan. In 2013, the singer received a slew of threatening letters from Bassey Essien. Beyonce won an anti-harassment order against Essien, but he was persistent.
The troubled London man claimed that Beyonce was an imposter who murdered the real Beyonce. The singer’s security was told to be on the lookout for Essien because she feared that he would harm her. Essien previously tried to give her a book of notes about religion in 2009 to “help” her.
Rebecca Schaeffer Was Stalked for Years
Actress Rebecca Shaeffer starred in the ‘80s sitcom, My Sister Sam. She was the breakout star of the series, and everyone thought she would be the next big thing in Hollywood. However, Schaeffer had some trouble in her personal life that would eventually come to light.
For three years, Robert John Bardo wrote letters to Schaeffer. He had been stalking her and tried to get on set many times, but Bardo was always turned away. He was obsessed with Schaeffer, and she never knew her superfan would turn into her worst nightmare.
Her Murder Was a Wake-Up Call for Hollywood
In the 1989 film Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills, Schaeffer was shown in bed with a man. Bardo thought it tarnished her reputation, so he found her home address, but she turned him away. However, Bardo returned to her home a few hours later.
Schaeffer was expecting a script to be delivered, so she opened the door again. Instead, it was Bardo with a gun. He fatally shot her in the chest and later received a life sentence. Her death led to the first anti-stalking law, which prevented the DMV from releasing private addresses.
Shirley Temple Was Accused of Stealing a Soul
The young and talented starlet faced a lot of hardships throughout her life, but Shirley Temple’s scariest moment occurred in 1939. A woman whose daughter died the same hour Temple was born was convinced that the actress had stolen her daughter’s soul. She believed shooting Temple would release it.
While she was performing “Silent Night” on a live radio show, the woman found Temple, pulled out a big gun, and pointed it at the 10-year-old actress. Luckily, the police grabbed the woman and removed her from the studio. She was arrested for her plot to kill Temple.
Christina Grimmie Was a Rising Star
After winning third place on The Voice, 22-year-old Christina Grimmie had a blossoming singing career. Many fans followed her journey from being a YouTube star to a singing sensation, but one was particularly infatuated with Grimmie. Kevin Loibl was obsessed with Grimmie and wanted to date her.
Loibl’s only friend, Cory Dennington, later told police that Loibl would get angry and defensive when he was told he couldn’t date Grimmie. Loibl never elaborated on what he would do if he met Grimmie, but he told Dennington that she was his soulmate.
Taking Infatuation to an Extreme Level
Loibl bought a ticket to Grimmie’s concert and planned to meet the singer. Before leaving for the show, he told Dennington he “was tired and ready to ascend.” On June 10, 2016, Loibl went to Grimmie’s meet-and-greet following her Orlando concert and shot her four times.
Grimmie had opened her arms to hug him when he took aim. Loibl then escaped and killed himself. Due to lax security, Loibl’s two handguns went undetected. Following her death, fans called for better security at performing arts venues. Grimmie’s parents sued the venue but later dropped the lawsuit.
Taylor Swift Has Had Many Stalkers
Taylor Swift has dealt with her fair share of stalkers throughout her career, but one aggressive fan topped them all. Frank Hoover was obsessed with Swift and started sending her father threatening letters in 2015. He referred to himself as the “real son of God.”
Hoover was convinced that the Swifts were “the evil family of devils.” In 2016, he decided to follow Swift and her family from a concert venue to the airport. He got close to her car when Swift’s bodyguards stopped Hoover. He claimed to want a picture with Swift.
When Swift’s bodyguards questioned Hoover, he told them he hoped to “accompany Taylor wherever she goes.” He was arrested, and the police connected Hoover to the threatening letters sent to Swift’s dad. Hoover said God was going to “burn them into the desert for me.”
Hoover was later sentenced to 10 years of probation, but that wasn’t Swift’s last stalker encounter. A 26-year-old Texas man who claimed to be Swift’s fan was arrested for sending the singer a letter about wanting to kill her. He is also facing federal charges.
Gianni Versace Never Saw It Coming
Gianni Versace was one of the most high-profile fashion designers, dressing the likes of Princess Diana, Madonna, and Elton John. On July 15, 1997, the legendary fashion mogul returned to his Miami mansion from a coffee run when André Cunanan shot Versace in the back of his head.
Versace wasn’t Cunanan’s first victim. The serial killer had claimed the lives of five men in three different states before killing Versace. He was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list and bragged that he was friends with the fashion icon. Versace’s family denied the claims.
A Mysterious Motive to Kill Versace
A week after Versace’s murder, Cunanan was found dead on a Miami houseboat. While his motives for targeting Versace are still unknown, authorities believe he was on a killing spree targeting ex-lovers who may have given him HIV. He possibly met Versace and his longtime boyfriend before the murders.
Versace’s infamous murder was turned into a TV series, which upset his family. They didn’t authorize the series and claimed it was a work of fiction. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story was based on a book that was also unauthorized.
Gigi Hadid Was Accused of Attacking a Fan
Gigi Hadid was accused of attacking one of her fans. However, she and the witnesses set the record straight. When Hadid was leaving a fashion show in Milan, a crazed fan grabbed her and picked the model up.
Hadid elbowed Vitalii Sediuk, a serial celebrity attacker, in the face to make him let her go. Hadid made it clear that Sediuk had invaded her personal space, and she had every right to defend herself. The model also Tweeted that her real fans had witnessed the attack.
Gwyneth Paltrow Got Disturbing Packages
For nearly two decades, Gwyneth Paltrow was stalked and harassed by super fan Dante Michael Soiu. In the late ‘90s, Paltrow started receiving packages containing inappropriate pictures and objects. Soiu was found not guilty because he attributed his behavior to insanity. The judge made him get mental treatment.
However, Soiu was arrested again in 2016 for sending Paltrow letters between 2009 and 2015. Soiu said he started contacting the actress again to earn her forgiveness and tell her he still wanted to marry her. Paltrow said it was a long and traumatic experience.
Andy Warhol Refused to Film Her Movie
Legendary artist, director, and producer Andy Warhol was admired by many people who wanted to be in his social circle. Among those who wanted Warhol’s attention was aspiring writer/actress Valerie Solanas. She appeared in one of Warhol’s films and wanted him to produce her script.
Solanas had always been on the outskirts of Warhol’s circle, and she was angry that he turned down her movie. The founder of SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men), Solanas didn’t like the fact that Warhol ignored her. Therefore, she planned her revenge, so that he would notice her.
Warhol Didn’t Press Charges
In June 1968, Solanas walked into the Factory, Warhol’s headquarters for his Pop art empire, and shot him. Warhol was wounded in the spleen, stomach, liver, lungs, and esophagus, with doctors saying he had a 50-50 chance to live. Solanas surrendered later that day.
Warhol spent two months in the hospital but didn’t press charges. Solanas took a plea deal to first-degree assault and spent three years in prison. She became a heroine among fringe feminists. Solanas claimed that Warhol had too much control over her life.
Justin Bieber Should Have Responded to His Fan Mail
Pop star Justin Bieber was almost the unfortunate victim of one of the most disturbing stalking plots in 2012. Dana Martin was in love with Bieber and had the singer tattooed on his leg. He wrote a letter to Bieber but never got a response.
Martin was serving a life sentence in New Mexico for murder and conspired with former inmates Mark Staake and Staake’s nephew. They planned to kidnap Bieber while he was in New York City and kill his bodyguard and two other people Martin knew.
Bieber Got Lucky
The plan was to mutilate Bieber before killing him. However, Martin turned in his co-conspirators before going through with the plot. Martin was offended that Bieber never returned his letter and felt like a “nobody” in prison, which prompted him to plan the kidnap and murder.
Martin planned to pay for Bieber’s genitals and outlined his disturbing fantasies in a 2013 interview. The information must have terrified Bieber and made him fear for his safety. As someone in the spotlight, he has had many aggressive fans.
Miley Cyrus Needed More Security
As someone who has been in the spotlight since she was a teenager, Miley Cyrus has dealt with many crazed fans. While leaving her hotel in Barcelona in 2019, Cyrus was swarmed by hundreds of fans. One of them got within arm’s reach and grabbed Cyrus’ hair.
Cyrus was able to move away, but the fan wrapped his arm around her neck and pulled the singer in for a kiss. She struggled to get away from him as her then-husband Liam Hemsworth tried to clear a path through the crowd. Hemsworth pulled her out of the mob.
Jodie Foster’s Stalker Wanted to Kill for Her
You might have heard of John Hinckley Jr. because he attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan and James Brady. However, you might not know that he did it to impress Jodie Foster. He became obsessed with the actress after seeing her in Taxi Driver.
Hinckley watched the movie 15 times and decided to shoot Reagan while he was leaving a speaking engagement. Hinckley also shot James Brady, officer Thomas Delahanty, and Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy. They all survived the attack, but Brady suffered brain damage and died in 2014. Foster was mortified.
Dimebag Darrell’s Fans Were Angry
Legendary Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell left the band and created a new group called Damageplan. While performing with his band at a Columbus, Ohio nightclub, tragedy struck during the group’s opening number. An angry fan, Nathan Gale, rushed the stage to yell at Darrell.
Gale shouted, “You broke up Pantera,” and proceeded to shoot the rocker in the head. He then shot and killed a bouncer and concertgoer and took a hostage before the police killed him. Gale was obsessed with Pantera and would try to pass their lyrics off as his own.
The Band’s Breakup Pushed Him to the Edge
Gale’s former friend told reporters he was convinced that Pantera stole his songs and wanted to sue them. Another friend said Gale idolized Pantera’s lead singer, and the band’s breakup pushed him over the edge. Later, a fence was put around Darrell’s grave because fans tried to vandalize it.
When Christina Grimmie was later killed by a fan, Pantera noted the similarities between Grimmie and Darrell’s death. They helped urge concert promoters and club owners to impose stronger security measures to protect artists from “gun-wielding fans.”
Albert Ebossé’s Fan Might Have Killed Him
Cameroon soccer star Albert Ebossé was in Algeria for a match when an angry fan threw something at his head. The object supposedly dented his skull, killing him. However, the story has come into question. A Cameroonian pathologist later said that Ebossé wounds were from a beating.
The autopsy revealed the soccer star suffered a skull injury and a “rupture to his cervical vertebrae” that the doctor believed was caused by a knife. It seemed that he had injuries consistent with a physical attack. But no one was charged with Ebossé’s death.
Selena Gomez Sold Her House Out of Fear
Selena Gomez has had many devoted fans, but one stalker situation led her to sell her mansion. A few days after moving into her Calabasas home in 2014, a man was arrested for trespassing twice in one week. 20-year-old Che Cruz broke into her guest house first.
Cruz rang the doorbell and asked if Gomez was home. He seemed to leave but was later found in the guest house. A judge placed Cruz on probation, ordering him to keep his distance from Gomez and her property. He also got 45 days in jail.
Gomez’s Nightmare Wasn’t Over
Cruz only spent two days behind bars before he was released. However, he was arrested just hours later, after hopping the fence to get back onto Gomez’s property. He was then charged with stalking, and the judge ordered him to stay away from Gomez for ten years.
The judge also ordered Cruz to complete six months in a residential facility and undergo psychological treatment for a year. Gomez put a better fence around her home and called 911 numerous times after Cruz broke in. She sold her house a year later.
Adam Levine Was Criticized for His Reaction
While performing at the We Can Survive concert in 2019, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine got annoyed with the crowd. One of his fans jumped on stage and grabbed the singer, and the moment went viral. People in the comments section criticized Levine’s reaction.
Security removed the fan from the stage, but people were upset. Levine took to his Instagram and wrote, “I have always been someone that loves, respects, and worships our fans. Without our fans, we don’t have a job.” He was startled and got annoyed about the situation.
Rihanna Had a Fake Husband
It is no secret that Rihanna has had many obsessed fans. Some people express their admiration by buying albums or hanging up posters, but others have taken their love for Rihanna to a dangerous place. Everyone would love to meet her, but most people wouldn’t break into her home.
A fan wanted to be close to Rihanna, so he threw a chair through her window, insisting that he was her husband-to-be. The man received a restraining order for breaking in, which wasn’t the first time he stalked a celebrity.
Jamie Foxx Thought It Was Beyonce’s Producer
Some stalkers start with smart plans, but things usually don’t turn out they wanted. Jamie Foxx’s stalker wanted to get to the actor and knew his only way in was to get into his Philadelphia hotel room. Steven Taliver posed as one of Beyonce’s producers, and Foxx opened the door.
Unfortunately, Taliver didn’t expect Foxx to be so smart because the actor soon realized that he didn’t know the man. Foxx’s security removed the man, and Taliver fled, but the police caught him. Taliver confessed that this wasn’t his first offense.
Foxx Had Been Stalked Before
After Taliver was arrested for breaking into Foxx’s hotel room, he admitted that he had tried to meet Foxx in the past. He previously broke into Foxx’s room on the set of Law Abiding Citizen. He had been a fan for many years and wanted to be friends with the actor.
In the end, Taliver was charged with stalking, burglary, and threats. His plans didn’t pan out the way he thought they would, and Foxx got the best of him. Taliver now can’t get near Foxx again because of a restraining order.
Madonna’s Stalker Barely Walked Away
Madonna has been in the spotlight for a few decades, but she never imagined coming face to face with a stalker. In 1996, Robert Dewey Hoskins broke into Madonna’s home, threatening to slit her throat if she refused to marry him. He had been stalking her throughout the ‘90s.
He had broken into Madonna’s home several times, but she hadn’t been home. Hoskins tried to escape when her security forces found him, but they shot him in the leg. Hoskins received a 10-year prison sentence and served time in a mental hospital.
The Stalker Came Back for Madonna
In 2012, Hoskins escaped from the mental facility he received treatment from. Madonna was notified and nervous about the safety of her family. However, Hoskins was reportedly after a different celebrity this time. He admitted that he was over Madonna and wanted Halle Berry.
Luckily, Hoskins was captured before he could harm anyone. Halle Berry was notified about Hoskins, but she and Madonna can breathe easy knowing he is back in custody. Hopefully, he won’t get the chance to escape again. How did he get out in the first place?
Catherine Zeta-Jones Was Called a Gold Digger
Catherine Zeta-Jones has been married to Michael Douglas for over 20 years, and throughout their marriage, they have faced challenges like stalkers. In one particular incident, Dawnette Knight became obsessed with Douglas and wanted to marry him, so she tried to end his relationship.
Knight would send Douglas disturbing letters detailing how she would kill his wife and feed her to the dogs. Knight threatened Zeta-Jones and wanted her to leave Douglas. She believed Zeta-Jones only married him for his money. Knight eventually went to jail.
Britney Spears Has Been Through Enough
Today we know that Britney Spears has been through a lot in her career, and her stalking incident only made things worse. During the year that Spears went through her messy breakup with Justin Timberlake, she also dealt with Masahiko Shizawa. He apparently was in love with her.
Shizawa sent her countless emails and pictures and tracked the pop star down in LA. He found out where her parents lived and told Spears he was “chasing her.” A judge ordered Shizawa to stay away from Spears, but that didn’t stop him.
Shizawa was later served with a restraining order to stay 300 yards away from Spears. He then tried to sue the city of Los Angeles for emotional distress that arose from stalking Spears. Shizawa also tried to sue Spears because one of her bodyguards pointed a gun at him.
A judge threw out the case because it was ridiculous. However, Spears suffered because of the stalking and feared for her safety. She was also dealing with a lot of negative press from her breakup, which only added to her stress.
David Letterman Made Light of the Situation
Talk show host David Letterman can make a joke out of most situations, including his stalker. Margaret Mary Ray gained national attention for 15 years after claiming she was romantically involved with Letterman. She broke into his home multiple times and stole his Porsche.
Ray also said they had a three-year-old son named David Jr. She was arrested several times for stalking and harassment. Letterman used the situation as a running joke on his late-night show. When he left the show, he said, “I need to send change-of-address forms to the woman.”
Sandra Bullock Had to Hide in a Closet
Sandra Bullock is a pretty private person, and now we know why. In 2014, the actress was home with her son when Joshua Corbett broke into her house. Bullock hid in a closet and called the police while Corbett banged on her bedroom door.
When police arrested Corbett, he yelled, “Sandy, I’m sorry. Please don’t press charges.” After an investigation, the police discovered that Corbett planned to sexually assault Bullock. They also found notes and guns at his home. He was sent to a mental facility for his bipolar schizophrenia.
Conan O’Brien Had a Religious Stalker
Former Late Night host Conan O’Brien has gotten some bizarre fan mail over the years. However, the letters he received from David Ajemian were beyond creepy. The Roman Catholic priest wrote to O’Brien for two years and ended the letters with “your stalker priest.”
Ajemian tried to get a seat in O’Brien’s audience, but when he couldn’t, the letters became more threatening. He was later arrested for breaking into O’Brien’s TV set. Ajemian pled guilty and received a fine and restraining order. The church also let him go.