January 4, 1996 in Nation/World

Madonna Testifies In Stalking Trial Loses Bid To Have Defendant Removed From Courtroom

Associated Press

Declaring she was sick to her stomach at being in the same room with the man charged with stalking her, Madonna told a jury Wednesday he haunted her nightmares.

The pop star, subdued and nervous, took the witness stand reluctantly in the trial of Robert Dewey Hoskins, who is charged with stalking, making terrorist threats and assault. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Madonna testified she was told by one of her bodyguards that Hoskins had scaled the walls of her property, declared he would marry her and said “I’m going to slice her throat from ear to ear.”

Prosecutors say Hoskins twice invaded her Hollywood Hills home, once in April and again in May, when he was shot by one of Madonna’s guards. Madonna wasn’t home during either incident.

Asked by a prosecutor how she felt hearing of the threat, she said, “I guess I felt incredibly violated.”

The entertainer, dressed in a black knit suit, was asked how she felt being in the same room with Hoskins. “Sick to my stomach,” she said, closing her eyes.

“I feel incredibly disturbed that the man who threatened my life is sitting across from me and he has somehow made his fantasies come true,” she said. “I’m sitting in front of him and that’s what he wants.”

Earlier Wednesday, a judge ordered Madonna to testify despite her lawyer’s efforts to keep her off the stand.

The judge said that to remove Hoskins from the courtroom would send a message to the jury that he was too dangerous to be in the star’s presence and would be so prejudicial it would invalidate any verdict.

Hoskins’ lawyer, John Myers, argued that he had a constitutional right to confront his accuser. Deputy District Attorney Rhonda Saunders said she feared reversal of any conviction if he was denied that right.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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