Today in Madonna History: January 15, 1996

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On January 15 1996, Madonna appeared on the cover of People magazine, with the title: Madonna faces down her stalker in court.

Here’s an excerpt from the issue:

At first glance, it looked like any other Madonna-centric media event, with scrambling news crews and ogling fans swarming around her black limousine. But as soon as she entered courtroom 116 in the L.A. Criminal Courts Building on Jan. 3, it became clear that this was no ordinary Madonna performance. Inside, a jury listened intently as the normally flamboyant singer, 37, dressed with subdued elegance in a black, knee-length suit, soberly delivered testimony against a 38-year-old drifter accused of stalking and threatening to kill her. “He was there to take me away; he wanted me to be his wife,” she said in measured tones. “If he couldn’t have me [he told my secretary], he would slit my throat, from ear to ear.”

Madonna’s hour-long testimony may bring to some kind of conclusion an unsettling series of events that began when Robert Dewey Hoskins was first found hanging around the singer’s Hollywood Hills estate. Hoskins showed up at Madonna’s home last April 7, jumping a security wall before being ejected from the 3.5-acre grounds by a private guard. (Madonna was not home at the time.) Returning from a bike ride with her personal trainer the following day, Madonna encountered Hoskins at her gate. “He looked homeless, dirty; his clothes were wrinkled, and he had a crazy look in his eyes,” she testified. His stare, she said, was “creepy…deranged. It was scary.” Hoskins said nothing but left a note that said, “I love you. You will be my wife for keeps.”

The appearances by Hoskins were unsettling enough, Madonna says, to persuade her to sell the estate, once the home of gangster Bugsy Siegel. Seven weeks later, while Madonna was in Florida, where she also owns a home, Hoskins was back, this time carrying a four-inch wooden heart with the oddly misspelled inscription “Love To My Wife Madnna.”

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