September 30, 2011 08:32:01 GMT
Giovanni Palumbo abruptly stands and shouts he's going to plead guilty after the 'Up!' singer told the court via video link that his letters and unexpected visits made her feel uncomfortable.
A man accused of stalking Shania Twain has left a crowded courtroom stunned with his outburst. Former Ottawa surgeon Giovanni Palumbo was on trial for criminal harassment and violating a restraining order in a Toronto court on Thursday, September 29, when he interrupted the "That Don't Impress Me Much" singer's testimony to change his plea to guilty.
46-year-old Shania testified against 51-year-old Giovanni via a video link. The Grammy winner said that her accused stalker's lovelorn letters and unexpected visits at her family cottage made her feel uncomfortable, a little bit sad and just a bit awkward. She also claimed to hiring 24-hour security after he was spotted repeatedly sitting in his parked car near her Ontario cottage.
After roughly 90 minutes of Shania's testimony, Giovanni, who has a history of mental illness, suddenly stood up and declared his change of plea. Using the singer's real first name, he reportedly shouted, "Eileen, you can trust me. I am going to plead guilty." He then addressed the judge, "I've been offended too much, your honor."
Though Giovanni's outburst led to a recess, the trial later resumed and is scheduled to continue on Friday morning, September 30. It had been scheduled to last three days.
Giovanni was arrested for violating an order to remain 500 meters away from Shania back in March. The 51-year-old was being discovered in the audience at the Juno Awards in Toronto, where the singer was being inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. He was charged with three counts of failure to comply with a court order and criminal harassment.