DEL AIRE, Calif. --Actress Gwyneth Paltrow testified on Monday against the man accused of stalking her for 17 years.
"I am scared," Paltrow said, bursting into tears on the witness stand. "I am have been dealing with this for 17 years."
Paltrow avoided the gaze of 66-year-old Dante Soiu during her testimony and as she read excerpts from 66 of his letters, which she called scary and disturbing.
"That my body was full of sin and that he was going to take a scalpel and cut it out," she said. "That there would be a curse on my family if they kept us apart."
"Quit being your worthless carnal mind. Have the mind of Christ," she continued.
As an ongoing theme through the letters, Soiu proposed marriage several times.
"I will always love and help you. Be my wife," Paltrow read.
Distressing to the Oscar winning actress, this was the second time Paltrow had to face Soiu in a criminal trial.
In 1999, the obsessed pizza deliveryman traveled from his home in Ohio to Paltrow's parents' home In Santa Monica determined to see her. He also sent letters, sex toys and pornographic materials.
The court found Soiu not guilty by reason of insanity. He was sent to a mental health institution for more than six years.
In 2009, the letters resumed to Paltrow. He also pursued an Ohio woman. That case lead to an arrest, but no conviction.
Paltrow testified to a chilling incident at the end of 2014. Receiving a letter from Soiu at her home as somehow Soiu had obtained her personal address.
Soiu's defense countered that the current case is not like the one in 2014 because he sent letters, not objects.
His defense also argued Soiu is a born-again Christian who writes to many people including President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The defense claimed Soiu was exercising his freedom of speech.
But what Paltrow fears is that Soiu could take his obsession one step further and may actually believe what is written in his letters, things including that God has ordained him and that he is above the law.