She says she was looking for a little serendipity, but instead wound up on the wrong end of a John Cusack restraining order.
Speaking to reporters for the first time since the Say Anything heartthob scored a keep-away order against her, Emily Leatherman says she is no stalker and did not engage in any of the behavior outlined by Cusack in court documents.
Per his restraining order request, the 31-year-old Los Angeles homeless woman had deluged Cusack with love letters for nearly 18 months, with several missives purportedly claiming that she would harm herself if the actor failed to repsond.
"I've never written any of that," she told the Associated Press by phone on Wednesday.
Cusack, 40, sought the court order in June, claiming Leatherman had engaged in harassing behavior that, in addition to the unsolicited love notes, included throwing "long letters of interest over my fence in bags with rocks and screwdrivers inside" and showing up unannounced at the offices of several of his business associates in an attempt to meet him.
According to the filing, she also had her mail sent to his home and told people she was living with him.
"Mail addressed to her has been arriving at my residence without my permission," Cusack said. "I have never met this person."
"I feel I've been set up to look like a stalker," said Leatherman, who's staying with friends and currently does not have a listed address of her own.
She denied engaging in any oddball behavior or posting harassing messages to the actor. But did cop to sending two letters to Cusack requesting he lend his star power to help pressure police to probe her claim that she was drugged and gang-raped by several men in 2001, something which investigators have so far refused to do.
Cusack's camp declined to comment Thursday on Leatherman's remarks, apparently preferring to let the court order do the talking.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Linda K. Lefkowitz on Tuesday banned Leatherman from attempting to contact Cusack in person, by phone, by post or by email. She is prohibited from coming within 100 yards of Cusack and must keep at least 500 feet away from his home, workplace, car and offices in which he does business.
The judge said that in making her ruling she factored in Leatherman's rap sheet, which includes several arrests for assault with a deadly weapon. Leatherman also acknowledged in court to having once been in a similar legal snafu with Tom Cruise.
When he's not fending off unwanted admirers, Cusack has been busy in front of the camera filming the indie drama Grace Is Gone, in which he stars as a distraught widower who embarks on an impromptu road trip with his daughters.
Also in the pipeline is Martian Child, in which he plays a sci-fi writer who adopts a troubled boy who thinks he's from Mars. Then there's 1408, a thriller due out next spring in which Cusack plays a paranormal investigator used to debunking supernatural claims only to wind up facing the real thing in a creepy room at the spooky Dolphin Hotel.