This was one dangerous liaison Uma Thurman wishes she could have avoided.
The anxious-looking actress turned up this morning at a Lower Manhattan courthouse and confronted a former mental patient accused of stalking and harassing her.
Sporting a wool camel jacket over a black shirt and black slacks, the Kill Bill star entered the state supreme court building escorted by officers and ignored the throng of reporters and paparazzi tailing her.
Inside, Thurman took the stand in the trial of Jack Jordan, a 37-year-old Maryland native who was arrested last October outside Thurman's Greenwich Village apartment and booked on misdemeanor stalking and coercion charges.
Her voice just barely above a whisper, the 38-year-old Oscar nominee avoided all eye contact with Jordan, who sat quietly with his hands clasped under his chin.
Appearing fatigued and very pale, and without a trace of makeup, Thurman teared up shortly after taking the stand, while talking about fearing for her kids' and family's safety.
She testified about how her worries escalated as Jordan began bombarding her with creepy emails and letters in which he professed his eternal love for her and even threatened to kill himself if she saw another man.
Thurman recounted her first encounter with an alleged stalker when she was 17 and a man named Anthony sent her flowers and repeatedly called her parents' home. When she didn't reciprocate, he sent her a package containing a razor blade.
In one of the more dramatic moments, Thurman's hands shook as she read the contents of a postcard of the Empire State Building Jordan had sent her.
She also told about how she felt "sick" and "freaked out" after Jordan tried to break into her trailer when she was on location in Manhattan's SoHo district filming My Super Ex-Girlfriend.
Per Thurman, perhaps the most alarming moment involving Jordan came on Nov. 8, 2005, when she was filming at night and returned to her trailer after grabbing dinner and saw a man wandering outside. An assistant handed her a card from him.
"It looked so disturbed and I noticed words scribbled out—'chocolate, 'mouth,' 'soft kissing,' 'my hands should be on your body.' After reading, I was completely freaked out and said, 'Oh my god.' It was like a nightmare," Thurman told the court.
The illustrated card not only included a religious invocation but also random words written by Jordan in the shape of a spiral, some crossed out. When she opened the card, scraps of paper were inside that contained drawings, one of them featuring a picture of a bride with her head hacked off. Another was a drawing of a stick figure next to a razor blade with an arrow alongside it pointing to an open grave and a gravestone engraved with "RIP."
"I was disturbed. I didn't know what to think," she testified. "At one point I had to leave the trailer, and they put me outside the door of the trailer and put me directly in a car. I never went out front."
She also recounted how much the incident interfered with her concentration on the movie, leading Ivan Reitman to express concern by offering to finish that day's shooting so he could get her off the street as soon as possible.
She also became alarmed when he contacted her brother and her parents.
Prosecutors wrapped up their questioning of Thurman by having her read aloud from an email Jordan sent to her father, a Columbia University professor, in which the defendant remarked that when he heard her voice he fell instantly "in love."
"I imagine us in a cave a long time ago—and us mummified," she read. "The only thing that keeps me from going to the river to die is the voice of you and your father."
Thurman said the note made her feel "scared." Her fears were heightened, she said, when she read another e-mail to her family in which Jordan purportedly called her two kids, ages six and nine, an "illusion" and made a reference to the biblical story of Abraham having to sacrifice Isaac at the altar on God's orders.
"I don't think any mother or parent would want a stranger to fixate on their children, and fixate on them not existing," Thurman said. "That was terrifying to me."
The thesp then related receiving a note from the defendant in Nov. 2005 saying he had been forcibly committed to a Rockville, Maryland mental hospital and asking for her to intervene and help him by setting the record straight that he wasn't stalking her.
During cross-examination, Jordan's attorney, George Vomvolakis, suggested Thurman was giving a good performance on the witness stand, calling her testimony "a little overdone and exaggerated."
"I'm not saying she's acting, but [her] reactions are unreasonable," the legal eagle said.
While he acknowledged that his client suffered from schizophrenia and is bipolar, requiring ongoing psychiatric care, Vomvolakis insisted Jordan would never harm the actress because of the tenderness he has for her.