Accused Shania Twain stalker pleads guilty to 2 charges
Published Friday, September 30, 2011 4:29PM EDT
During another day of courtroom drama on Friday, an Ottawa doctor accused of stalking country music star Shania Twain pleaded guilty to two charges.
Giovanni (John) Palumbo was accused of failure to comply with a court order and criminal harassment.
This is the second consecutive day of the trial for the former surgeon.
Palumbo has been in custody in Toronto since March when he was arrested for allegedly breaking his restraining order by attending the Juno Awards at the Air Canada Centre, where Twain was joining the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Palumbo has a restraining order against him for sending Twain a chain of fan letters, making a visit to her family's Muskoka cottage in 2009 and attending her grandmother's funeral.
He faces one charge of criminal harassment, as well as three counts of failing to comply with a court order, after allegedly breaking the restraining order earlier this year.
During Twain's cross-examination Friday, the singer fended off suggestions from defence lawyer Gary Barnes that Palumbo simply didn't realize Twain was not interested.
"A lot of this is a misunderstanding between two people," Barnes said. "They got the wrong impression of each other."
Twain, who has expressed compassion for Palumbo, rejected the argument.
"No, I would not agree with that," Twain told the court via video link from an undisclosed location in Europe.
"I still have the fear and anxiety of being contacted in the future by Mr. Palumbo. And I do want it to stop. And as far as I know, this is the only way to go about that."
Earlier, the trial against the doctor was delayed after another outburst from the defendant.
Palumbo stood up during his cross-examination on Friday and shouted at the court in an attempt to explain why he had sent so many personal letters to the Timmins, Ont., native.
"But I didn't know you received any of them (the letters), you understand? I didn't know you received any of them," Palumbo shouted in court on Friday, interrupting as Twain was being cross-examinated via video link.
Palumbo apologized, explaining that he has very strong emotions. The court then took a 20-minute break.
On Thursday, Palumbo interrupted the singer's testimony and told the court he would plead guilty. He later returned to his original plea of not guilty.
"Eilleen, you can trust me, I'm going to plead guilty," Palumbo said on Thursday. "I've been offended too much, your honour."
Twain testified on Thursday via video conference and told the court that the man's sudden appearances outside her property, love letters and personal gifts made her feel uncomfortable.
Twain was asked on Thursday to read through a series of letters allegedly sent by Palumbo, which detailed private feelings and declarations of love.
"I love you more than anything in the universe. I need you more than anyone else in the world because I love you more than anyone else in the world could love you," read one letter, dated May 19, 2009.
With files from CTV Toronto's Natalie Johnson and The Canadian Press