| Britney Spears
Los Angeles, Jan. 25 (Reuters): Britney Spears’ troubles with an alleged Japanese stalker, accused of sending love notes to the pop princess, are due to a “cultural misunderstanding”, the man’s lawyer said yesterday.
Spears, 21, is seeking a restraining order against Masahiko Shizawa, 41, of Yokohama, Japan, claiming he had sent her photos of himself and a note saying: “I’m chasing you”.
But Shizawa’s lawyer told a brief court hearing that the legal fray was due to a “cultural misunderstanding”.
“He’s a VIP in Japan. He had no intent” to disturb her, lawyer Simon Hiller said, without expanding his remarks.
Shizawa was not in court for the hearing on the request for the restraining order, which was delayed for a month. Spears’ lawyer declined to comment on the case, which will now be heard on February 28.
According to the syndicated TV show Celebrity Justice, he has been forced to return to Japan, where he is reportedly a millionaire computer programmer, after his US visa expired, and has twice been stopped while trying to return to the US.
Spears has asked that Shizawa be kept 915 metres away from her house, workplace, car and any other place that she might travel to.
She alleges in court papers that Shizawa has been stalking her since last September, tracking her to the homes of her divorced parents, her California home, and a home she owns outside the state.
The Oops! I did it again star, who was the teen pop phenomenon of the late 1990s, is currently taking a break from the recording business after a hectic five years at the top.