News Article

I'm a Slave 4 U

Britney stalk suspect blames culture. Apparently, if she were Japanese, she would have been flattered

Britney Spears | NO. 1 FAN A man accused of stalking Spears is blocked from entering the U.S.
Image credit: Britney Spears: Ken Babolcay/IPOL/GLOBE Photos inc.
NO. 1 FAN A man accused of stalking Spears is blocked from entering the U.S.

Maybe it's no big deal in Japan for a man to send a woman photographs of himself and notes that say ''I'm chasing you,'' or for him to show up uninvited at her home or her parents' home. That's what Britney Spears has accused Japanese computer programmer Masahiko Shizawa of doing. But during a Los Angeles hearing on Friday in which Spears' lawyer urged a judge to impose a restraining order on Shizawa, his lawyer chalked up the whole thing to a ''cultural misunderstanding,'' Reuters reports.

''He's a VIP in Japan. He had no intent'' to disturb her, Reuters quotes Shizawa's lawyer, Simon Hiller, as saying. His 41-year-old client was not present at the hearing. According to an item on TV's ''Celebrity Justice,'' Shizawa is a millionaire who's been forced to return to Japan after his U.S. visa expired and has since twice been barred from re-entering the country.

The 21-year-old singer is seeking a restraining order that would keep Shizawa 1,000 feet away from her house, workplace, car, or anyplace she travels to. The case was postponed a month, until Feb. 28.

Originally posted Jan 27, 2003
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