WSJ Reporter Gives Inside Insight on Uma Thurman Stalker Verdict

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WSJ Reporter Gives Inside Insight on Uma Thurman Stalker Verdict

Wed May 07, 2008 @ 06:49PM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

UmaJack Jordan was convicted of stalking Uma Thurman and aggravated harassment yesterday. Jordan was acquitted of two second-degree aggravated harassment charges and now faces 90 days in jail for the stalking and up to a year behind bars for the aggravated harassment.

Jordan's lawyer had argued during closing arguments that the DA’s office “went the extra mile" in prosecuting Jordan because of Thurman's celebrity, and the NY Times even reports that George Vomvolakis turned down a plea bargain offer where Jordan would serve 18 months in inpatient psychiatric treatment. His bet that the jury would see Jordan as a harmless eccentric turned out to be wrong.

In the WSJ, reporter Emily Steel gives a first-hand account of jury deliberations in the trial. New York recently allowed journalists to serve on juries, though we're still quite surprised that a judge allowed Steel on this case, considering the celebrity nature of the event. Steel says that the jury focused on one question, "Where is the line between obsession and menace?" Steel says they found Jordan's cards "creepy," but that jurors debated the sincerity of Thurman's testimony.

"But was she genuinely afraid?" Steel writes. "While we believed her testimony, we discussed whether Ms. Thurman could have exaggerated her fear. The fact that she was a famous movie star made us partly charmed, partly suspicious. One juror jokingly said Ms. Thurman isn't that great an actress, but that her delivery on the witness stand was the most heartfelt performance he'd ever seen her give."

The rest of Steel's article is a highly recommended read.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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