Dante Soiu, 66, of Columbus, Ohio, set free after being accused of stalking the Oscar winner for the second time
The man accused of stalking Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow was acquitted on Wednesday.
A jury of six men and six women began deliberating on Tuesday in the case against Dante Soiu, 66, of Columbus, Ohio, who prosecutors claim upset Paltrow by sending dozens of unsolicited letters and gifts over recent years, according to the Associated Press.
The case against Soiu was the second in which he was accused of stalking the “Shakespeare in Love” actress, however in the previous instance he was not allowed to walk free.
In the first case, Soiu was accused of sending lewd messages and sex toys to Paltrow, pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. He was committed to a mental institution in the early 2000s but eventually was released.
During his latest case, the jury heard from a variety of witnesses including the actress herself. Paltrow described the fear she felt after learning Soiu was writing to her again.
“I felt very upset by it. It defied logic, and I found it very, very upsetting,” Paltrow told the court tearfully. “This was something I had been through a very long and traumatic experience with already.”
She also said that she feared for the safety of her children, Apple and Moses with ex-husband and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
The letters included a reference to Paltrow “bowing to death,” and another said: “I have a goal: to marry Gwyneth Paltrow and take care of her.”
In his own testimony, Soiu told jurors he was a changed man and that he continued to write to Paltrow because he wanted her forgiveness for his earlier lewd messages, while his lawyer, Lynda Westlund, claimed he is a Christian and wanted to minister the Hollywood star.
“I was very lonely … I wanted to have a pen pal,” Soiu said. “I have no desire to hurt her feelings, I have no desire to harass her.”
He also said he never intended to scare the actress or physically harm her.