Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Baldwin felt 'threatened' by accused stalker

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NEW YORK -- It was, actor Alec Baldwin said, "like something out of Hitchcock": He waits in the wings of a Lincoln Center stage before a movie-screening discussion. He looks out to see his tormentor in a front-row seat. She turns to him. And smiles.

That was one of several scenes in a personal drama the 30 Rock actor described Tuesday, as the star witness against Genevieve Sabourin, a small-time Canadian actress charged with stalking him.

"It was nightmarish," Baldwin said during a morning of testimony that at times approached theatre in itself. Sabourin unleashed a stream of outbursts -- "He's lying!" for instance -- that prompted a judge to warn that he might remove her from court.

Baldwin came close to playing director, telling Sabourin's lawyer he sounded nervous and musing about having thought of turning Sabourin's voicemail messages into a play.

Baldwin and the Manhattan district attorney's office say it's a case of an acquaintance with a movie star turning into harassment. Sabourin claims it was a romance that fell apart.

Baldwin, 55, said he first encountered Sabourin at a lunch with a mutual friend in 2000. Sabourin, 41, hails from a Montreal suburb and has appeared in some Canadian films and TV series.

Baldwin and Sabourin met again in 2010 for what he calls an hour-long chat about her acting prospects and she calls a romantic dinner that ended in a sexual tryst, which Baldwin denies.

She began leaving as many as 30 voicemail messages a night, so many that he eventually disconnected the phone number. And she sent a raft of emails that grew increasingly ominous in March 2012, when she wrote: "Call the FBI now!" and said she had the address of his Hamptons home, had "easy access" inside his New York apartment building and would insinuate herself into places he worked and yoga classes taught by his then-girlfriend, Hilaria Thomas, now his wife.

Shortly after Baldwin and Thomas got engaged in March 2012, they were sitting in his Hamptons home when they heard gravel crunch in the driveway. He looked out to see Sabourin getting out of a car, Baldwin testified, his eyes reddening as he recalled the episode. He called police; Sabourin left before they arrived, he said.

The couple felt "extremely, extremely, extremely threatened," he said.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 13, 2013 D3

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