The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 15, 2014

Sandra Bullock's encounter with stalker described

LOS ANGELES — Sandra Bullock's recent encounter with a stalker in her home reads like a scene from a scary movie in newly released documents, painting a portrait of an obsessed fan who described himself as her "husband."

Joshua James Corbett, 39, was later found to have a stash of illegal weapons including two fully automatic rifles and a machine gun at his home.  But he was unarmed when he broke into Bullock's home, affidavits in the case said.

Investigators said the sleeping actress was awakened at 6:30 a.m. on June 8 by banging noises, opened her bedroom door and saw a dark-clad stranger moving toward the stairs.

Bullock, who has portrayed brave, strong women on screen, took quick action, locking the door and summoning police.

"Sandy, I'm sorry!" the man shouted as he was being taken away. "Don't press charges."

Police determined Corbett had scaled the gates of the home and forced open a locked sunroom glass door. He remains in jail awaiting trial and could face more than seven years in prison.

The incident shocked Hollywood and resurrected memories of other stars plagued by stalkers. Actress Rebecca Schaeffer was slain by a stalker in the 1980s and her death led to tightened laws to make stalking a crime and keep stalkers away from their prey.

Madonna, Steven Spielberg, Ryan Seacrest, Paris Hilton and others became stalking victims but were not harmed.

The writings of Corbett, detailed in a search warrant affidavit filed by the Bullock case investigators, revealed the depth of his obsession.  Many stalkers have been ordered to undergo psychological counseling as part of their sentences.

The newly released affidavits gave the first detailed account of what happened inside Bullock's home.

Corbett had a letter he had written to the actress the day before the break-in professing his love for her and insisting he was her husband and the father of her son.

"I love you. You are very special to me and without you in my life there is only misery," said the letter....You are my girl!...You are my wife by law, the law of God and you belong to me and me to you."

Corbett revealed he had been watching Bullock's movements, saw her return home from an American Film Institute gala on June 5 and wished he could follow her inside the gates to her house.  "I will be waiting by those gates when you decide to open them to me...," he wrote.

At another point, he told the actress, "You are so hot and intelligent, lissome and taught (sic)."

The letter was signed, "Your husband, Joshua James Corbett."

The police affidavit said Bullock arrived home about 1 a.m., showered and went to bed. She was awakened early the next morning by banging noises she thought were coming from her third-floor workout room. The sound then shifted to the living room and she became concerned for her safety, the affidavit said.

Police said Corbett was walking down the stairs when they arrived.  He acknowledged breaking in, they said, and told them he was trying to alert Bullock that her security was not impervious to intruders.  He said he didn't want to upset Bullock and thought she would not be home.

The question of why Corbett was stockpiling arms at his home and at an airport hangar remained unanswered.

  

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