Shania stalking suspect charged again

Dr. John Palumbo trailered his 1988 Lamborghini Countach from Ottawa to attend his first-ever...

Dr. John Palumbo trailered his 1988 Lamborghini Countach from Ottawa to attend his first-ever Shania Twain Fan Convention in Timmins in 2009. (QMI Agency file photo)

MICHELE MANDEL, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:35 AM ET

TORONTO - Perhaps if Shania Twain had shown up to testify against her alleged stalker last month, this sad spectacle would not be playing out in a tiny Toronto bail court.

Because it is obvious that Dr. Giovanni "John" Palumbo, 51, is not getting the message.

Instead, the troubled Ottawa physician with a history of mental health issues had a new charge of criminal harassment laid against him Friday to add to his three counts of failing to abide by previous court orders.

Palumbo remains behind bars this weekend after his bail hearing was put over until Monday.

Wearing a fine black wool coat, wire glasses and his grey hair neatly combed back, the distinguished-looking doctor appeared briefly at Old City Hall and nodded when Justice of the Peace John Jackson ordered that he -- yet again -- not have any direct or indirect contact with the famous singer he has purportedly pursued for years.

It seems to be a tall order.

Just before she was to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the Juno Awards Sunday, Palumbo was arrested in the Air Canada Centre audience wearing a Shania Twain T-shirt and clutching her biography -- just as he was outfitted the last time he was charged with criminal harassment in November 2009.

That charge was withdrawn March 7 when the newlywed songstress -- she remarried New Year's Day -- failed to leave her home in Switzerland to testify at Palumbo's trial in Ottawa.

A five-day hearing had been scheduled on accusations Palumbo was repeatedly stalking Twain in hopes of meeting her and beginning a romantic relationship.

He allegedly sent letters and flowers to her home in Switzerland between February and October 2009 and was spotted in his black Lamborghini outside her Muskoka cottage several times in August of that year.

He was also suspected of attending her grandmother's funeral in Timmins on Aug. 10.

The day before the funeral, Palumbo was interviewed by our sister paper, the Timmins Daily Press, at the town's seventh annual Shania Twain Fan Convention.

At the closing breakfast at the local McIntyre Coffee Shop, the doctor with the "quirky sense of humor" told reporter Brandon Walker that he'd trailered his black 1988 Lamborghini Countach and drove from Ottawa to attend his first-ever fan convention as a "Twainiac" because he'd recently become an "admirer", not a fan.

"Most fans know everything about her, I don't know that much," explained Palumbo, wearing his Twain T-shirt.

"I became more exposed to her in the last year because we have a lot in common."

He told the paper he split from his ex-wife at about the same time Twain was going through a separation from former husband, Mutt Lange. Plus, he confided, he and the superstar share similar life philosophies.

The next day, Palumbo was reportedly spotted at the funeral for Twain's paternal grandmother.

He later told a psychiatrist it was only natural that he attend since he and Twain were destined to be family one day.

According to media reports, Palumbo was admitted to the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre for several months after his November 2009 arrest where a psychiatrist concluded his "obsession" with Twain is of "delusional intensity". According to the psychiatric report, Palumbo believed that if he could only meet the famous country singer, "a romantic relationship would be almost certain to develop."

Initially found to be bipolar and not fit to stand trial, the hospital psychiatrist later had a change of heart and Palumbo was to be tried March 7. But Twain was a no-show.

His court troubles, though, were not over. He went on trial the following week on charges of threatening his ex-wife and breaches of probation.

The proceedings were adjourned until May, but he remained free on bail on conditions that included that he not go within 500 yards of the legendary songstress and not travel to Toronto unless he was attending the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.

But with his "perfect woman" so close, it seems Palumbo could not stay away.

For both their sakes, hopefully this time the object of his misplaced affections will find her way to court and end his delusions once and for all.

michele.mandel@sunmedia.ca


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