Not a trivial pursuit

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    I do not know Barbra Streisand and James Brolin. But I work in the theatre, film and television. From my own experience and from what I have been told by my fellow workers, I know the worry and fear that being followed — or “stalked” — can cause.

    Sometimes, hard though it may be for some noncelebrity Malibuites to imagine, that worry and fear is horribly justified. Being followed is no joke. Being followed can be fatal.

    Mr. and Mrs. Brolin did exactly the right thing in notifying the police of their pursuer.

    Yes, the young man only had a camera in his hand. But what if there were a gun in his pocket? John Lennon’s sweet-faced young murderer had “Catcher in the Rye” in his hand and a gun in his pocket. After only a week, have we already forgotten the violent attack on George Harrison by another young man?

    I worked with a talented young woman, Rebecca Shaefer, on “My Sister Sam,” a television show. She opened her door one weekend and was shot by a man who had hounded her for over a year.

    My older son, a musician, was stalked for a year and a half by a young man who, when finally arrested by police, was institutionalized as insane and psychotic. My younger son, an actor, was stalked for many months by a man who waited for him at his car, wrote obsessively, spied on him, unseen, during my son’s work hours. He was warned off finally by the theater staff.

    To be sighted in a well-known person’s rear-view mirror, hot on his/her trail, is enough to justifiably set off warning alarms in their heads.

    The father and lawyer of Wendell Wall should tell him that in today’s climate of violence, notoriety engenders caution. Above all, they should remind young Wendell of a primary American credo: the right to privacy.

    Nan Martin