Entertainment & Arts

Alec Baldwin's 'stalker' jailed for contempt of court

Alec Baldwin
Image caption Baldwin said he only ever met with Sabourin to give career advice

A Canadian actress accused of stalking actor Alec Baldwin has been sentenced to 30 days in prison for heckling him multiple times during proceedings.

Genevieve Sabourin, 41, was found in contempt of court a day after she repeatedly interrupted as Baldwin tearfully gave evidence against her.

Baldwin denies having a relationship with Ms Sabourin, whom he met in 2000.

She is accused of leaving up to 30 voicemails a night and turning up at his homes and a public appearance.

Ms Sabourin, who was arrested in April 2012, is charged with 24 counts of harassment and stalking and could face up to a year in prison if convicted.

'Humiliated, beat up, destroyed'

Wednesday's contempt of court sentencing means she could spend the remainder of the trial in jail.

Ms Sabourin, who also sent Baldwin, 55, a string of emails, has insisted that she and the actor had a romance that fell apart.

Image caption Genevieve Sabourin has insisted she had a relationship with Baldwin

The 30 Rock star, who says he only met her at the request of a mutual friend to offer career advice, told the court during just under two hours of testimony on Tuesday how both he and his wife felt "extremely threatened".

The judge had warned the actress, from Montreal, that he might remove her from court after she interrupted proceedings with repeated outbursts.

"He's lying," she shouted at one point. Later, when Baldwin denied having been romantically involved with her, she exclaimed: "You have a scar!"

Eventually, Judge Robert Mandelbaum scolded: "Don't testify from your seat at the defence table while the witness is on the stand."

"Your honour, he's lying," Ms Sabourin replied.

As she was found in contempt, Ms Sabourin said the strain of the trial had made her "a person who is totally exhausted, humiliated, beat up, destroyed, alone".

"My life is shattered in pieces," she said.

'Hitchcock moment'

Baldwin said he met Ms Sabourin at lunch with a mutual friend in 2000 when he was filming in Montreal, where she was working as a publicist on his film.

He told the court that, 10 years later, he was asked by a friend to give Ms Sabourin advice, as she had begun acting in some Canadian films and TV series.

The pair met at a restaurant in the city in 2010 for what Baldwin has called an hour-long chat about her acting prospects.

However, she has claimed it was a romantic dinner that ended with a sexual tryst, something Baldwin has denied.

Baldwin said he only communicated with her after that to give suggestions about acting classes, but that she had quickly shifted to professing her love and pleading for his.

The actor's eyes reddened in the courtroom on Tuesday as he recalled the time Ms Sabourin appeared outside his home in East Hampton, New York, shortly after he and then girlfriend Hilaria got engaged in March 2012.

Image caption Baldwin has a baby daughter with wife Hilaria Baldwin

He said she had also threatened to enter his home and place of work, and added: "That's when I knew she was dangerous."

Baldwin said two days later Ms Sabourin confronted him at a movie screening at New York's Lincoln Center.

He described the "nightmarish" moment, when he looked out from the wings to see her sitting in the front-row, as "like something out of Hitchcock".

He said security guards had escorted her out, and she was arrested days later after appearing outside of the couple's Manhattan apartment building.

Baldwin said he had repeatedly asked Ms Sabourin to leave him alone, as seen in some emails read in court, in response to her claims that she was going to start a "massive destructive war" against him, and that she wanted to start her new life as his wife.

Wife threatened

However, he also sent some more sympathetic messages, including "happiness is around the corner", and acknowledged in court that some communications "were more personal than professional".

Image caption Baldwin and his wife, a Spanish-born yoga instructor, at a New York premiere

He said he was "just trying to pacify her" and hoped that she would eventually give up contacting him.

Ms Sabourin's lawyer, Todd Spodek, has said his client was not threatening Baldwin, but seeking to resolve her feelings toward him.

He presented evidence showing they corresponded for a year, and gave examples of conversations in numerous emails.

But Baldwin said he was "never, never, never" the instigator of "these conversations".

The actor, who won an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for his role in the sitcom 30 Rock, has a baby daughter with wife Hilaria Baldwin.

She told the court that Ms Sabourin relentlessly harassed her on Twitter, even during her pregnancy.

She cited a tweet that claimed she would have a miscarriage.

"It feels like there's nothing we can do to make this stop. I am terrified of her," she said.

More on this story