01/03/2003 15:33 - (SA)
Los Angeles - Pop diva Britney Spears is locked in negotiations
to avoid a messy court battle with a Japanese fan that she has accused
of stalking her, lawyers said Friday.
said she was in serious talks with Masahiko Shizawa against whom
she sought a stay-away order in December after
he allegedly sent her hundreds of "love notes," followed her and
tried to break into her home.
But the Yokohama-born
tourist's lawyer Simon Hiller said Friday that Shizawa was not
a stalker. "He's an avid fan," adding that the
stalking allegations were the result of a cultural misunderstanding.
"He's not a stalker ... he's an intellectual. He's a smart guy," said
Hiller, adding that his client was a computer programmer who had
made a lucrative living with technology patents.
Spears' attorney, Joel Strote said he expected the dispute to be
resolved without a court hearing.
Spears had asked
a judge to issue an injunction ordering Shizawa to stay at least
1 000m away from her house, workplace, car and "any
other location (Spears) might travel to within or outside" the county.
showed that she claimed the 41-year-old Japanese citizen had repeatedly
turned up at her homes, followed her and sent
her a note reading: "I'm chasing you."
If the 21-year-old singer's request for the restraining order is
granted, Shizawa - who was forced to return to Japan - could find
his travel options to the United States severely limited.
in last year's teen movie "Crossroads" and has scored
major musical hits with the songs "Baby One More Time," "Oops! I
Did It Again" and "I'm a Slave 4 U." - AFP