Gwyneth Paltrow, pictured at a benefit event in November, is testifying in the trial of a man accused of stalking her for 17 years. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Gwyneth Paltrow, pictured at a benefit event in November, is testifying in the trial of a man accused of stalking her for 17 years. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Scoop: Gwyneth Paltrow loses cool during stalker testimony

Gwyneth Paltrow lost her composure just a bit — and who can blame her?

The Oscar winner wiped away a tear in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday, describing how she has been living in fear of a guy who has been stalking her for 17 years.

Defendant Dante Soiu faces felony criminal charges in connection with 66 messages he sent Paltrow between 2009 and 2015.

Paltrow, the first witness called, authenticated 48 of the letters, which included religious messages and statements referencing her death, the Associated Press reported.

She said she has received love notes and unsolicited packages of candy and flowers from Soiu dating to 1999. Some were pornographic, and in one, he threatened to use a scalpel “to cut out sin” in her body, she said.

Deputy District Attorney Wendy Segall said that Paltrow’s “sense of security has been shattered by this man.”

But Soiu’s attorney Lynda Westlund said Soiu is a Christian man who trying to minister to the actress.

Soiu, 66, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 2000 in a previous trial involving messages he sent to Paltrow. He went to a mental institution, but was re-arrested last year after sending the actress new correspondence.

Recent letters described Soiu’s intention to marry Paltrow and earrings he sent her in 2009 for Christmas. He has also sent her religious books, and forwarded her letters he sent to President Barack Obama and actress Angelina Jolie.

Soiu, who is from suburban Columbus, Ohio, has pleaded not guilty.

In lighter news, the 43-year-old actress and lifestyle publication curator cheered on her ex Chris Martin and her pal Beyoncé from a VIP seat at Sunday’s Super Bowl in Santa Clara, in a cheering section that included her kids Apple and Moses and Bey’s daughter, Blue Ivy.


REST IN PEACE, DAN HICKS

Singer-songwriter Dan Hicks, who asked “How can I miss you when you won’t go away?” in a song, will be missed by fans of his hybrid sound.

He died Saturday at age 74 at his home in Mill Valley, of liver cancer,“ the Associated Press reported. On her Facebook page, his wife wrote, “He was true blue, one of a kind, and did it all his own way always.”

In an Francisco in the 1960s, Hicks played drums for rock band The Charlatans, which, along with the Grateful Dead, had significant influence on the city’s music scene. He formed the Hot Licks in the early 1970s, which drew critical and commercial success by blending country, blues, jazz, swing and humorous lyrics.

The group’s hits include “I Scare Myself” and “Canned Music.” The group’s last album, “Last Train to Hicksville,” helped land Hicks on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

The Hot Licks broke up in 1973 at the height of its popularity.

QUICK TAKES

A lock of hair cut from John Lennon’s head as he prepared to film the 1967 movie “How I Won the War” is expected to sell at a Dallas auction for $10,000. … Taking into account factors such as price and availability of restaurants, florists, jewelry stores and wine, San Francisco was rated the best city in the U.S. for Valentine’s Day by WalletHub, a personal finance website.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Actress Rose Leslie is 29. … Actor Michael B. Jordan is 29. … Actor Tom Hiddleston is 35. … Actress Zhang Ziyi is 37. … Singer Travis Tritt is 53. … Actress Judith Light is 67. … Actress Mia Farrow is 71. … Writer Alice Walker is 72. … Actor Joe Pesci is 73. … Singer-songwriter Carole King is 74.

— Wire reports

Got scoops or Bay Area celebrity gossip? Email scoop@sfexaminer.com.

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