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California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

Woman takes plea in stalking case

October 14, 2008|Harriet Ryan

An Oregon woman accused of stalking actor John Cusack for years was released from jail Saturday after accepting a plea agreement that allowed her to avoid prison time.

Emily Leatherman, 34, pleaded no contest to felony stalking Friday. She was sentenced to five years' probation and mandatory psychological counseling. She was also ordered to stay away from the actor for 10 years.

Leatherman was arrested outside Cusack's Malibu residence in April. The actor had obtained a restraining order against her in 2006, but according to his representatives, she continued writing him threatening letters and visiting his home and office.

Leatherman has said she was victimized by a sex trafficking ring and contacted Cusack in an effort to get help. At her sentencing, she repeated those claims. The deal spared Cusack from testifying at a trial. In a statement read by a prosecutor, the actor said he did not know Leatherman before last spring when she appeared on the sidewalk outside his home shouting profanities.

"I do hope she receives counseling she needs," he said in the statement.

Leatherman has tangled legally with other celebrities. She was twice arrested outside actor Tom Cruise's Beverly Hills home and she once sought a restraining order against actor Nicolas Cage.

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