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Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dawnette Knight: when stalkers get it wrong

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Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dawnette Knight: when stalkers get it wrong
July 31, 2004

The woman accused of stalking Entrapment star, Catherine Zeta-Jones, has been ordered to have psychological tests after trying to kill herself. In a breathlessly over-zealous statement, Richard Herman, the lawyer for the stalker said: "Catherine Zeta-Jones has driven Dawnette Knight to attempt suicide and the real blood is on her hands."

The imagined blood (and there's lots of it) is in the mad mind of Knight. In her letters to Zeta-Jones, she said that the Entrapment star would be chopped into pieces "like Sharon Tate was." And that: "we are going to slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs." So sure of Zeta-Jones' impending doom was Knight that she sent Kirk Douglas, Michael's frail old dad, an invitation to his daughter-in-law's funeral. Touchingly, she put a little picture of Catherine on it...

"Home Grown celebration for Catherine Zeta-Jones. Obituary Mrs Catherine Zeta-Jones. Goodbye to the solemnized ASAP. Time place, Catholic church, Wales."

Back in June, Richard Herman released to the press an apology letter from Knight to Zeta-Jones, in which she said: "It would be a wonderful good deed if you would all forgive me so that I can go back to college to finish my studies in child psychology." An ideal vocation for someone who wrote to Kirk Douglas, during Zeta-Jones pregnancy, informing him that: "the baby Catherine is carrying is not Michael's. It's George Clooney's."

In her letter of apology, Knight admitted: "I was a confused young woman infatuated with Michael Douglas and have not rational explanations for my actions."

It's sad really. She fell in love with Michael Douglas (as many a young girl has) but handled the wooing all wrong. She didn't play by the Rules. She needed to make herself flirty, unavailable - not send violent letters to Michael's 87-yr-old father. Her tactics were all wrong. Threatening the "whore gold digger" (Catherine) was only ever going to make Michael more protective of his wife. She was portraying herself as too needy, too attention-grabby. No man warms to that kind of behaviour.

Stalkers rarely play by the Rules, and this is their tragedy. They make their affection too smothering. They need to step back, give the object of their desire a little space - a little more room to appreciate them. Dawnette Knight needs to back off, maybe get her psychology qualitifications, maybe just sit in a darkened room for a few months, gently rocking. And then, when Michael has noticed her absence - perhaps started wondering about what she's up to - she could send him a light-hearted note, suggesting maybe they meet up for a cup of coffee. Nothing too heavy. No references to Sharon Tate or sliced meat. And then at the coffee-shop be light and flirty, leave first, sit back for a few days, do nothing, and wait for Michael to call.

Believe us, Dawnette. He will.



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