When a 43-year-old convicted stalker is able to sue Britney Spears over emotional distress, it should be an indication that our legal system is getting abused.
Masahiko Shizawa, a computer programmer and inventor from Japan, filed a lawsuit last week claiming Spears’ bodyguard overreacted when he asked him to leave at gunpoint while Shizawa was trying to get close to Spears.
Spears filed for a restraining order against Shizawa in Dec. 2002 after he sent her photos of himself. The photos accompanied notes with messages like “I am chasing you.” A judge issued a restraining order on Sept. 21 that said Shizawa must not come closer than 300 meters to Spears. The judge described Shizawa as “abnormally obsessed.”
Shizawa’s lawyer is contending that it was all based on “cultural misunderstanding” and calls his client a law-abiding man that just happens to be “in love” with Spears.
As Japanese courting customs do not include stalking and creepy notes being sent to the object of one’s desire, Shizawa’s behavior cannot be construed as a “cultural misunderstanding” but is, rather, a grave error of judgment on his part.
Shizawa, who left for Japan when his visa expired in December, is now worried he might not be allowed to enter America again. The lawsuit is merely an attempt to allow him to pursue his business ventures in the United States.
Yet to claim in a court order that Spears’ bodyguards caused him “emotional distress” by not allowing him to be in a restricted area is simply too far-fetched.
Granted, Spears’ new Madonna-like image is designed to attract sexual attention. It also does not help that Spears is disclosing in magazine interviews that she has not “had a boy in a really long time” and that she is “really craving” one.
This, however, is not an open invitation for people to stalk her, or to sue her for not allowing them to do so.