Twain 'compassion' for stalker
Canadian country star Shania Twain told a court she has compassion for a man accused of stalking her, but remained concerned that he would continue to pursue her.
Giovanni Palumbo is charged with three counts of failure to comply with a court order and criminal harassment.
He pleaded not guilty earlier this week, but after listening to evidence from Twain, his lawyer told the court that his client would plead guilty to both charges.
Lawyer Gary Barnes said that hearing Twain's heartfelt testimony stirred a revelation in Palumbo. "He realised, 'My God, I have upset her'," Mr Barnes told reporters after the Toronto court had adjourned for the day.
The former Ottawa doctor allegedly sent Twain a series of letters, made unwanted visits to her family cottage in Ontario and even attended her grandmother's funeral before being arrested at a Canadian awards ceremony this year.
Before he pleaded guilty, Mr Barnes said during Twain's cross-examination that Palumbo simply did not realise that Twain was not interested.
But Twain, appearing via video link from an undisclosed location in Europe, said: "I'm torn emotionally because I have compassion for anybody who's reaching out in need - fans often do that. I feel very sad ... and awkward having to go through these very personal matters with Mr Palumbo because it's such an invasion of his privacy."
However, Twain said nothing she heard at the trial made her feel differently about Palumbo. "I still have the fear and anxiety of being contacted in the future by Mr Palumbo. And I do want it to stop," she said.
For the second day in a row, the process seemed to become too much for Palumbo. Twain was recounting the contents of numerous letters allegedly sent to her by Palumbo when he leapt to his feet and addressed the court loudly. "But I didn't know you received any of them - you understand?" he yelled, alluding to why he persisted in corresponding with Twain.
Palumbo has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. He has another court date on October 18 when - depending on the outcome of the psychological evaluation - he could be sentenced.