Magazine article The Spectator

Stalkers Are a Girl's Worst Enemy

Magazine article The Spectator

Stalkers Are a Girl's Worst Enemy

Article excerpt

Emily Diane Leatherman was arrested recently outside the house of the actor Tom Cruise for what the Beverly Hills Police Department described as showing 'an unusual interest' in him. The majority of lifestyle trends begin with a celebrity endorsement in Hollywood before filtering down to the high street, but I can report that the culture for stalking has moved beyond the preserve of the stars to become a fully fledged fashion.

'You're no one until you've had a stalker, ' a member of the Metropolitan Police told me recently when I went to report mine at Savile Row police station.

I hadn't realised that receiving nuisance calls and threatening behaviour had reached a level of significance comparable to bagging the new shoulder Birkin by Hermès or Roland Mouret's Moon frock. Not all stalkers suffer from the manifestation called erotomania, involving fantasies of love and affection -- many have other motivations. The UK and European chairmen of Sotheby's, James Stourton and Henry Wyndham, shared the same stalker for a while. As both reach an elegant 6ft 8in, swaying around London giving good art-talk to admiring women, I assumed their stalker simply had the same taste in men. 'No, ' said Stourton. 'Actually I think it was a job she was after.' My stalker's ulterior motive was to perform a diamond heist on the biggest names in Bond Street using his fictitious relationship with me.

'I didn't know you had a new male assistant, ' said a well-known jeweller, alerting me to my problem. Within the next six weeks this man had relentlessly hassled jewellers around the country, inventing shoots using facts about my whereabouts, which were frighteningly accurate at times, and plausiblesounding information about how we work.

'He sounded very Vogue, ' said one diamond dealer. He must have been the first to grab the latest issue each month off the newsstand then immediately called every jeweller featured. 'Why is he picking on my pages?' I moaned to my editor, Alexandra Shulman. 'I mean, what's wrong with Harper's Bazaar?' The police took little notice, this wasn't a case of life or death, they said, and even when Stephen Webster's wife Assia had him apprehended in their showroom and dialled 999 they failed to respond to the call. When he did eventually succeed in stealing a diamond brooch, I secretly breathed a sigh of relief: finally a crime had been committed so the police would swing into action. …

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