Brooke Shields confronted her alleged stalker in court on Monday after years of fearing his obsessive behavior was being directed toward her young children.
John Rinaldi, 49, has allegedly been following the actress for approximately 30 years.
Shields has dodged Rinaldi’s advances during that time but had to put her foot down once her children became subject to the man’s creepy gestures.
Shields alleges she was pushed to her breaking point when Rinaldi dropped off a stuffed animal for daughters Rowan, 13, and Grier, 10, at her home in West Village, Page Six reported.
‘I’ve been dealing with this for quite a long time but when you bring my kids into it, all bets are off. My children don’t need any stuffed animals,’ Shields said in the Manhattan Criminal Court.
Rinaldi allegedly left the stuffed animals at Shields’s home in 2013.
In the following months he allegedly left a silver picture frame given out by Shields’s mother Teri, who died in 2012, at the actress’s 18th birthday party,Teri Shields and Rinaldi were friends when the actress was alive.
The silver frame was addressed to 13-year-old Rowan.
Finally, in May of 2015, Shields was fed up and reported Rinaldi to police.
The final run in that pushed Shields to contact authorities was when the actress was on her way to attend a charity event and saw Rinaldi parked in front of her home with her name scrawled in dirt on the windows of his car.
“It was a copy of my signature and I said, ‘This is beyond disturbing and creepy.’” she told Judge Kevin McGrath at the non-jury trial.
Page Six reported that when Shields claimed she felt Rinaldi was signalling to other people to ‘steal her kids’, he gasped, becoming wide-eyed in opposition to the accusation.
After returning from the charity event Shields claimed there was someone inside to car, which was still in front of her home.
The licence plate read ‘Rinaldi’.
Feeling that she could no longer live in fear, she went to the 6th Precinct and filed a complaint against the man who lives a mere seven blocks from her.
He was arrested a week later and is facing stalking and harassment charges for sending Shields letters, tweeting at her and appearing uninvited at her home for as many as two years.
However, one prosecutor claimed Shields has been ‘terrorzied’ by Rinaldi since the 1980s.
Defense lawyer Jonathan Stonbely insisted that Rinaldi, who says he runs a charity called The SandyHook Kids Center, has never threatened Shields or her family, Page Six reported.
‘His actions in this case, socially inept perhaps, but the one thing that you can’t say about Mr. Rinaldi is that his acts are such that they rise to the level of criminality under any circumstance,’ the attorney argued.