Jul 28 2004
Zeta-Jones faces 'death threat stalker' in court
By Anthony Harwood
ACTRESS Catherine Zeta-Jones will today confront an alleged stalker accused of sending her chilling death threats.
Dawnette Knight, 32, is said to be obsessed with Zeta-Jones's husband, superstar Michael Douglas.
She is even said to have posed as Catherine's ex, shamed Scots TV star John Leslie, in one letter sent to the Douglas family during a year-long campaign of terror.
The letter read: 'You need to let Catherine know, if she hurts Michael I will hire someone to kill her. She will be taken care of ASAP.'
Douglas, 59, will accompany Swansea-born Zeta-Jones, 34, to a preliminary hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court today.
The court yesterday heard shocking details of the letters and phone calls Knight allegedly made. They included a mock invitation to the Oscar-winning actress's funeral, several death threats and an accusation that the mum--of-two's second child Carys was fathered by actor George Clooney.
Deputy Sheriff Teresa Garrett told the court Zeta-Jones was terrified when she discussed the hate campaign against her.
She said: 'She was very upset, lost for words. She didn't know where the threats were coming from. She was very afraid for herself and her family.'
Fourteen letters were sent to Michael Douglas's frail 87-year-old father, screen legend Kirk Douglas.
One said: 'I hope you know that the baby Catherine is carrying is not Michael's. It's George Clooney's - just wait and see.'
Most of the letters were handwritten except for one, which was put together with newspaper cuttings, the court was told.
That note, dated February 2004, was signed from Abi Leslie, in an apparent reference to Leslie's then girlfriend Abi Titmuss.
The cut-out letters read: 'We will kill Catherine Zeta-Jones soon.'
Another letter was supposedly written by Eric Douglas, Michael's brother, who is now dead. It said: 'You know we really want to get her when she is by herself or maybe on location in Chicago, Dallas or Los Angeles.
'She will be dead before the blink of an eyelid.We really wanted to see if she loves Michael. She doesn't,she loves George Clooney.'
Knight is also accused of making two threatening phone calls in March and April to a hotel Michael Douglas owns in Bermuda.
Detective Rodney Wagner told the court a female caller told the receptionist: 'You let Michael Douglas know we are going to kill his wife - kill that bitch.'
The court also heard how Knight once tried to get close to Michael Douglas at a golf tournament in Las Vegas, handing his bodyguard a note saying he was 'the most sexy man alive'.
The judge will decide on Monday whether the case should proceed to trial, where Knight could face up to 20 years in jail.
But her fiancˇ Ronald Calvin, 44, said: 'She just became infatuated with Michael Douglas.
'Dawnette is terrified to be incarcerated. She has a future as a child psychiatrist, loving wife and mother of my children - she told me she will never do it again.'
Her lawyer Richard Herman said: 'My client understands what she did was wrong and she has asked forgiveness of the Douglas family.'