Country Singer Says He's Being Stalked
HOUSTON (CN) - Country music singer Steve Wariner sued a fan he claims has been stalking him since 1989, when she lied that her son had terminal cancer to get backstage, and claims she recently posted online about him: "We do it all the time spiritually."
Steve Wariner and his wife sued Linda Marie Shinn in Harris County Court.
Wariner, 58, has released 18 albums, including three that went gold by selling 500,000 copies.
Wariner's current tour includes four upcoming shows in Texas and he wants a restraining order to keep Shinn away from him.
"In 1989, Steve Wariner, a country music entertainer, performed at the Astrodome for the Houston Rodeo in Houston, Texas," the lawsuit states. "Following the performance, Steve Wariner agreed to meet with a group of children from the Make-A-Wish foundation. During this meeting, Steve Wariner met defendant and one of her sons for the first time. At the meeting, defendant stated that her son was dying of cancer and that Steve Wariner was his favorite performer.
"Over the next few years, defendant and her son showed up at other performances when Steve Wariner performed near the Houston area. Plaintiffs frequently brought defendant and her son backstage at these performances and would pose for pictures or sign autographs. Eventually, plaintiffs discovered that defendant's claim that her son was dying of cancer was completely false. In fact, plaintiffs were informed that defendant's son had never been diagnosed with cancer. Once defendant's lies were discovered, plaintiffs stopped allowing her backstage at these performances. However, on a few occasions afterwards defendant somehow managed to gain access to the backstage area at Steve Wariner's performances without having the proper credentials."
Then Shinn started mailing the Wariners dozens of letters asking for money, and claiming they were her best friends though she barely knew them, the Wariners say in the complaint.
Wariner says he never responded to any of the letters and sent Shinn a cease-and-desist notice, which she "wholly disregarded," and continued bombarding him with letters.
"Over the next twenty years, defendant continued contacting plaintiffs on numerous occasions by showing up at meet and greets, calling venues where Steve Wariner was performing, calling into radio interviews when plaintiff was being interviewed, contacting plaintiff's employees, booking agents and family," the complaint states. "During these interactions, defendant told numerous lies in an attempt to gather personal information about plaintiffs.
"Defendant's lies included false representations that she was Steve Wariner's girlfriend, a family member of plaintiffs' and one of plaintiffs' employees. On one occasion, Steve Wariner was performing on a cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean when the captain of the ship told plaintiffs they had an emergency phone call from one of their family members. The phone call turned out to be from defendant and the purpose of the phone call was so that defendant could inform plaintiffs that her son had an abscessed tooth.
"With the invention of social media, defendant has been a nightmare to plaintiffs. Defendant makes almost daily posts on her MySpace and Facebook page and on fan-sites making outrageously false statements that she is Steve Wariner's girlfriend and that Steve Wariner is the father of her child."
Wariner claims that Shinn's harassment took an ominous turn when she warned him in an email that she was going to Nashville, and if she did not see him, he "would 'know what will happen' and that (he) 'would not like it.'"
Wariner claims he called the Williamson County Sheriff's Office in Franklin, Tenn. and filed a complaint against Shinn, who was arrested on a harassment charge at Nashville International Airport when she arrived on May 20.
"Defendant received probation for the charge and was ordered not to have any contact with Steve Wariner via Facebook, email, attendance at Steve Wariner's concerts or any other means," the complaint states. "Regrettably, defendant has continued her threatening, erratic and harassing behavior even after she was arrested in Tennessee."
In a "feeble attempt to avoid any communications with Steve Wariner" Shinn has taken to calling him "Tom" on her MySpace postings, the Wariners claim.
The complaint includes 14 MySpace entries Shinn allegedly posted in June and July.
On July 1 she posted: "Hi kiddo!! I want to play with you now!!!! But, I can't darn that's not fair!!! I was smelling roses today thank you. When you come here it would be great if you brought them. I've been you roses for years remember dear. I can't wait too make passionate l''e to you Tom!!! Maybe I will think about the idea. He he!!!!! We do it all the time spiritually. So how was your day? Damnit he's still here f**ken shit!!!! I am so frustrated right now!!! Honey I am so tired of this shit. Sorry. I wish you would call!!!! I guess the music will have to do for now. Cya," according to the complaint.
Wariner says he has not spoken with Shinn in years.
"Defendant's statements that she has any type of a relationship with plaintiffs are completely false. Defendant's statements that she communicates with Steve Wariner's deceased mother and that she can telepathically communicate with Steve Wariner are absurd and frightening," the complaint states.
Wariner is scheduled to perform four times in Texas, in August and September.
"Defendant has stated that she purchased tickets to some of these shows and that she expects to meet with Steve Wariner at these events. Defendant has also stated that plaintiffs had better be separated or divorced by these performances. Based on defendant's past behavior, plaintiffs are scared of having any interaction with defendant. Despite nearly 30 years of trying to ignore defendant's behavior, plaintiffs continue to be afraid that defendant will keep harassing them online and in person," the complaint states.
The Wariners want a restraining order to keep Shinn from contacting them and to keep her at least 500 yards away from any venue where Steve Wariner is performing.
They are represented by San Antonio attorneys Michael Miller and Phil Watkins.