Tyra Banks testifies at trial of accused stalker

Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:21pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - TV host and ex-supermodel Tyra Banks faced her accused stalker in a New York court on Wednesday, saying she fears for her safety since the man allegedly threatened her assistant and contacted her show.

Brady Green, 39, was arrested in March after prosecutors say he appeared twice at the Manhattan studio where "The Tyra Banks Show," a daytime talk show, is filmed.

Green is accused of repeatedly contacting the show, sending Banks flowers with the note "When I see you, I love you," and threatening to slit the throat of her assistant.

"I don't fear, like, my life," Banks, 35, told a judge at New York State Supreme Court. "I fear my safety ... . I feel very vulnerable. I don't know what could happen."

Banks, who also hosts "America's Next Top Model," said she had been forced to hire security and that bodyguards now accompany her when she eats at restaurants or goes to the movies.

During opening statements, Green's attorney portrayed him as a harmless fan and said Banks courted admirers by giving them multiple ways of reaching out to her and cultivating an image of being approachable.

Green has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor stalking and harassment charges. He faces a maximum of 90 days in jail if convicted.

"The Tyra Banks Show" is a syndicated program set to begin airing on the CW Network in September. The network is owned jointly by CBS Corp. and Time Warner.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Michelle Nichols and Xavier Briand)

<p>Model Tyra Banks leaves the Manhattan criminal courthouse after testifying in New York April 29, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>