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Zeta-Jones blamed for 'stalker' suicide bid

Aug 2 2004

Robin Turner, The Western Mail

 

ACTRESS Catherine Zeta-Jones was blamed at the weekend for "driving" the woman accused of stalking her into a suicide attempt.

Criminal proceedings against Dawnette Knight, 32, were suspended after she allegedly took an overdose of barbiturates.

Her lawyer Richard Herman said she had been driven to it by a "campaign of vilification" against her by the media and by Miss Zeta-Jones herself.

Knight has been ordered to undergo a psychological examination.

She has pleaded not guilty to 25 counts of making criminal threats and stalking the Welsh actress.

Miss Zeta-Jones testified last week during the hearing at the Los Angeles Superior Court, reading extracts from 19 threatening letters sent to her.

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

It has been alleged Dawnette Knight is jealous of the actress's marriage to Michael Douglas.

At the Los Angeles courthouse, prosecutor Debra Archuleta reacted angrily to Mr Herman's allegations.

She said, "We are shocked and outraged that the victim in this case, Catherine Zeta-Jones, isbeing portrayed in this manner.

"We believe the statements by the defence counsel to be inappropriate."

The case is due to resume on August 16 with a full preliminary hearing likely to start in September if Knight is found to be mentally competent under US law.

 
 

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