Catherine Zeta-Jones alleged stalker pleads no contest
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Catherine Zeta-Jones alleged stalker pleads no contest

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Catherine Zeta-Jones alleged stalker pleads no contest

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LOS ANGELES (AFP)
Friday February 25, 2005

A woman accused of stalking and threatening the life of Catherine Zeta-Jones pleaded no contest to the charges and was ordered to stay away from the Hollywood star for 10 years.

Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones
AFP/File

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Mintz also ordered Dawnette Knight, 33, jailed for 90 days of diagnostic testing after she pleaded no contest to three counts of making criminal threats against the Oscar-winning actress.

Knight's no contest plea, which signals that she will accept punishment for the charges without specifically admitting them, could result in her being jailed for up to five years when she is sentenced on June 3.

Knight, whose pre-trial hearing was interrupted after she attempted suicide in prison, had in September pleaded innocent to one count of stalking and 24 counts of making criminal threats.

A deal was struck with prosecutors, however, resulting in Friday's plea.

She was accused of sending threatening letters and making menacing phone calls to the Welsh-born Zeta-Jones, who is married to Hollywood icon Michael Douglas.

Zeta-Jones told the court in July that she was menaced with being sliced up like "meat on a bone" and fed to dogs and being slain like US president John F. Kennedy or Manson Family victim Sharon Tate.

The threats "affected me and ... will affect me for the rest of my life," the actress told the court. "I felt like a ticking time bomb."

"Fatal Attraction" star Douglas testified that he was "shocked, scared and stunned" after learning that death threats had been made against his wife.

Knight's attorney however told reporters at the time that his client simply had a "girlish crush" on Zeta-Jones' famous husband. He also raised questions about her mental competence after her suicide attempt.

Knight wrote a letter of apology to the couple and asked to be forgiven, but Zeta-Jones has said the experience was too traumatic to forget.

But Deputy District Attorney Debra Archuleta said outside court on Friday that it had become apparent last week that a settlement agreement could likely be reached between the parties.

Following Knight's initial 90-day jail stay, the probation officials, prosecutors and her defence lawyers will make recommendations to the judge on what punishment she should received and whether she should receive probation.

Zeta-Jones won her best supporting actress statuette for the 2002 movie "Chicago."

 

Catherine Zeta-Jones alleged stalker pleads no contest

AFP
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