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Zeta-Jones case delayed

July 29, 2004

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Dawnette Knight, charged with making criminal threats against Catherine Zeta-Jones. Photo: AP

The Catherine Zeta-Jones stalking case has been postponed because the alleged stalker is groggy from sleeping pills.

Dawnette Knight, 32, took two pills that she apparently bought from someone in the Los Angeles County jail, lawyer Richard Herman said today outside court.

"She just wanted a good night's sleep. She just wanted sleeping pills, and these worked real well," he said.

Knight did not appear in court for the hearing that will determine whether she stands trial. The night before, she fell asleep on the jail floor and was sent to a hospital for evaluation, Herman said.

Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg said the hearing would resume tomorrow.

Zeta-Jones and her husband, fellow Oscar winner Michael Douglas, yesterday testified the actress felt overwhelming fear after learning about the death threats contained in letters sent to her employees, family members and friends.

She read from 19 of the letters, which suggested she would be chopped into pieces "like Sharon Tate," and referred to the violent deaths of President John F Kennedy and Nicole Brown Simpson, the murdered wife of actor OJ Simpson.

"We are going to slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs," one letter said.

Knight, who apologised last month in a letter that claimed she had been infatuated with Douglas, was arrested June 3 at her Beverly Hills apartment after authorities traced several letters and phone calls.

She was charged with one felony count of stalking and 24 felony counts of making criminal threats, and was held on $US1 million ($A1.44 million) bail.

"She's very, very sorry that all this happened," Herman said outside court.

"She had no idea that it would have caused such distress."


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