March 13, 2008 / 12:35 AM / 10 years ago

Jodie Foster stalker arrested after bomb threats

BOSTON (Reuters) - A man who sent Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster threatening letters for several years was arrested on Tuesday on charges of mailing a bomb threat to a Los Angeles airport.

Michael Smegal, 42, of Holliston, Massachusetts, was charged in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts with mailing a threatening letter to Van Nuys Airport in early December.

The letter was one of more than 100 nearly identical letters with references to Foster mailed to celebrities, business executives, airports and other locations around Los Angeles from September 2007 to January 2008, an affidavit said.

Foster, a two-time Oscar winner who won her first Academy Award playing a rape victim in 1988’s “The Accused,” received anonymous letters from Massachusetts beginning in 2004. In 2005, Smegal admitted to police he had sent the letters and promised to stop, the affidavit said.

If convicted, Smegal faces up to 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

Reporting by Jason Szep; Editing by Eric Walsh

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