Alleged Britney Stalker: I'm Just a Fan

By | March 3, 2003 at 12:00 AM

A man who allegedly stalked Britney Spears is just “an avid fan” and his actions were simply misinterpreted by the pop star, his attorney said in court.

Simon R. Hiller told a Superior Court commissioner that his client, Masahiko Shizawa, 41, of Yokohama, Japan, is trying to resolve the matter with Spears privately.

Spears claims Shizawa sent her hundreds of love letters and photographs, and tracked her to her homes in Louisiana and Hollywood. Shizawa allegedly wrote “I’m chasing you” on one of the photos.

Spears, 21, is seeking a restraining order that would bar Shizawa from coming within 1,000 yards of her. The singer also is seeking attorney fees and court costs.

“He’s not a stalker,” Hiller said of Shizawa, a computer programmer and inventor. “He’s an avid fan.”

A person who answered the telephone at the office of Joel R. Strote, an attorney for Spears, said Strote would not comment on the hearing.

The case was continued until April 18. If it hasn’t been resolved by then, a hearing on evidence will be scheduled.

Shizawa has returned to Japan but wants to settle the dispute so he can eventually come back to the United States, his attorney said.