LOS ANGELES -- A hearing for a woman accused of sending letters that threatened actor Catherine Zeta-Jones was postponed yesterday because the alleged stalker was groggy from sleeping pills, the defendant's lawyer said. Dawnette Knight, 32, took two pills she apparently bought from someone in the Los Angeles County jail, lawyer Richard Herman said outside court.
Zeta-Jones, known for her poise and glamour, had strained to hold back tears Wednesday as she described her fear after receiving death threats from someone promising to "slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs."
"I've never in my life had anything or had anyone say anything to me so satanic," the Oscar-winning actor testified in a quavering voice. "I can't even imagine how a sane human being could have these images locked in their brain."
Zeta-Jones read 19 letters including one that had her photo on the front and opened to reveal an "obituary." Another suggested the 35-year-old actor would be chopped into pieces "like Sharon Tate was" and referred to the violent deaths of President John Kennedy and Nicole Brown Simpson.
The preliminary hearing is determining if there is enough evidence to warrant ordering Knight to face trial.
Knight was arrested June 3 at her Beverly Hills apartment after authorities linked her to letters and phone calls.
She apologized last month in a letter saying she had been infatuated with Zeta-Jones' husband, Michael Douglas.
The letters were sent to Kirk Douglas, journalist Barbara Walters and Zeta-Jones' agent.
Zeta-Jones said the personal details in the letters -- including her travel schedule, the names of her friends, relatives and her children's nanny and details about a former apartment -- unnerved her.