New York: Albrecht Stromeyer, the German man who followed Serena Williams around the world for the past 14 months, said he would never harm the object of his obsession, the world’s top women’s tennis player.
“I would never physically harm Serena,” Stromeyer told Saturday’s New York Post. “But I inadvertently caused mental anguish to her father and if I hurt him, I must have hurt her.”
Stromeyer was arrested here a week ago after watching Williams practise before a match. He pleaded guilty Thursday to stalking charges and was ordered to keep away from Williams and her family.
“I have been very selfish, pursuing what I want without realising the impact,” Stromeyer told the newspaper. “I have to find a way to break the pattern. I need help emotionally and creatively.”
Stromeyer told the daily of his love at first sight for Williams, saying, “I was smitten as soon as I saw her. I love her deeply. My heart is pure. It is not a sexual love but an aesthetic one. I also admire her discipline. It’s something I never had.”
Stromeyer was arrested for disturbances in Italy, Germany, England and the United States, where he once stripped naked in a hotel lobby after his demands to see Williams were dismissed.
“Serena is a dancer,” Stromeyer said. “She is the ballerina of tennis.”
Stromeyer was aided by wealthy relatives and friends in his stalking bids, including charges of $15,000 on his credit card and reduced airline fares thanks to a brother who works for an airline, the newspaper reported. “Please thank the bank,” Stromeyer said. “I couldn’t have stalked without them.”
Stromeyer said he fell in love with Williams two years ago when he saw her play on television. One year later, he was in the front row at Wimbledon.
“I had to watch her in person,” Stromeyer said. “She played beautifully. We had eye contact. She was so close to me and sort of half-turn. I wanted to declare my love and ask her to marry me but I was too shy. I was a white European with no job. What could I offer her'”
Once Williams lost a match he missed, Stromeyer was even more determined to watch her every match. “I felt so guilty,” he said.