Selena Gomez's alleged stalker pleads not guilty
A man accused of stalking teen pop star and actress Selena Gomez has pleaded not guilty in the case.
Thomas Brodnicki, a 46-year-old man with a history of mental illness, made his plea at a Los Angeles court on Thursday, November 3, according to the Associated Press. Last month, Gomez, 19, was granted a temporary restraining order against him. Bail was set at $150,000, and if convicted, Brodnicki could be sent to prison for up to three years.
The man had told his therapist while he was on a 72-hour mental health hold in September that he "had conversations with God and entertained thoughts of killing Ms. Gomez," and that he had traveled to Los Angeles and had visited her workplace at least three times, according to court documents obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com.
Brodnicki is accused of stalking Gomez between July and September. The temporary restraining order says he must stay 100 yards away from Gomez, who said in her filing that she has been living in "extreme fear" of him and feels her "personal safety, as well as the safety of those around me, is in jeopardy."
"Without a restraining order, I fear there will not be sufficient law enforcement mechanisms to keep Mr. Brodnicki away from me and my family," Gomez had stated. "I believe he will continue his pattern of coming to my workplace and I fear that his behavior will escalate and he will act on his threats to harm or kill me, unless he is ordered by this court to stop."
The documents state that a doctor had determined that Brodnicki "presented a serious danger of violence" to the singer and had reported his threats to law enforcement officials.
Brodnicki was in 2010 sentenced to three years in prison for cyber-stalking a woman he had met in 2000, when she was 18. He was given credit for serving 661 days in an Illinois jail since his 2008 arrest. Brodnicki had previously been locked up and was forced to undergo psychiatric treatment for years after he was arrested on a 2003 stalking charge.
The man's former neighbors in Des Plaines, Illinois, say Brodnicki has not lived in the area for several years, WLS television in Chicago reported.
Gomez rose to fame with the Disney Channel series "The Wizards of Waverly Place" and is also known for her pop music and high-profile relationship with fellow teen singer Justin Bieber. After the two stepped out together publicly last year, several of his fans reportedly posted death threats and other nasty online messages to Gomez, although no legal action was taken.
Gomez, who hosted MTV's Video Music Awards Pre-Show, is planning to fly to Northern Ireland to host the MTV Europe Music Awards on November 6, which is set to air in the United States on TR3s: MTV at 6 p.m. ET.
The event will feature performances from the likes of Lady Gaga, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay and Bruno Mars, while presenters include Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Jenni "JWOWW" Farley from the MTV reality show "Jersey Shore."