Spears Can Skip Hearing in Stalker Case

By | October 1, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Britney Spears doesn’t have to appear at a hearing next week to seek a permanent order to keep an alleged stalker away, a judge ruled.

Superior Court Judge Alan Haber also ruled that Spears can skip a question-and-answer with the lawyer for Japanese businessman Masahiko Shizawa.

“I don’t think (ordering her appearance) would add up to anything but additional harassment,” Haber said Monday.

The judge also told Shizawa’s attorney, Simon Robert Hiller, that the evidence shows his client “has been stalking and harassing Spears for a considerable amount of time.” But he said he’d keep an open mind for the Oct. 7 hearing on Spears’ request for a permanent injunction.

“She doesn’t want to come to court and substantiate or back up her statements,” Hiller said after the hearing. “It’s hard to have a fair hearing when your client is innocent. He’s the one being harassed in a sense.”

He said his client was “definitely a fan,” who has sent the 21-year-old pop star letters and e-mails, but has never been on her property.

Shizawa, 43, has had no contact with Spears since last October, Hiller said. Spears claims that the Yokohama, Japan, native has called and sent faxes several times in the past five months.