She may put on a tough front, but surly teen pop star Avril Lavigne has once again enlisted the help of the courts to stop a persistent stalker boi from harassing her and her family.
Prosecutors in Everett, Washington, have charged 30-year-old James B. Speedy with felony stalking for his overzealous and unwanted attention to the Lavigne brood over the past year. Speedy has allegedly been firing off letters to the singer and her family since 2003, and he recently violated the terms of a court order by trying to get in touch with her yet again.
"He sent his letters by FedEx and complained when they were not answered," Janice Albert, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor, said in court papers filed Friday. "In his letters, he discussed [Lavigne's] family in detail. He sent wine, photos, CDs and requests for contact. They never responded."
Speedy started freaking Lavigne out in June of 2003, when he admitted his obsessed fan behavior bordered on stalker material in a letter to Lavigne's family. Another time, he sent a "courtesy notification" note alerting the family to his presence in Avril's hometown of Ontario. But her promised not to drive by her parents' house, spy on them or do "anything creepy," according to Albert.
Then, in July 2003, cops in Ontario found Speedy camped out in a car near the Lavigne house looking "dirty and unshaven" following yet another note to the singer's parents apologizing for "intruding, being stupid and stubborn and putting his needs before theirs," said Albert.
In spite of Canada's strict anti-harassment laws, Speedy allegedly continued his onslaught against the Lavigne camp, sending an email to Lavigne's agent and promising to "knock fists" with her during a free April concert at a Seattle mall, where she was promoting her second album, Under My Skin. He was arrested after police found several Lavigne-themed items, and a mini arsenal of a shotgun, an AR-15 assault rifle and a pistol in his home. He was released after posting $5,000 bail.
But it seems Speedy continued to try to get under the skin of the "Complicated" Lavigne with his most recent letters, and the felony stalking charges are the result. His arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 17 in Seattle.