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Ivanka Trump's accused stalker freed on $10K bond

Agencies | Updated: 2010-04-02 11:33

Ivanka Trump's accused stalker freed on $10K bond

NEW YORK – A self-described celebrity stalker obsessed with Ivanka Trump threatened to kill himself in her jewelry store and "commandeer" her husband's newspaper in e-mail and Twitter messages to the couple, prosecutors said Thursday.

"I won't just be ignored," Justin Massler wrote in an August e-mail to the newspaper, The New York Observer, according to a court complaint filed at his arraignment Thursday.

He added in another message that unless he got an autographed photo, he would commit suicide at The Ivanka Trump Collection boutique to damage its reputation, "or my only other option will be to simply stalk Ivanka Trump in a maniacal manner for this picture by becoming nothing other than a deranged celebrity stalker," according to the court documents.

Massler, 27, didn't enter a plea. His lawyer, George Vomvolakis, said the messages didn't amount to crimes, and Massler "at no point intended to follow through with any of these comments."

Massler was released on $10,000 bond, with orders to get psychiatric care as he awaits trial at his mother's home in Reno, Nev.

Trump, the daughter of Donald and Ivana Trump, declined to comment.

She co-hosts NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" and is a vice president at her father's real estate company. Her husband, Jared Kushner, is the publisher of The New York Observer and an executive at his family's real estate business, the Kushner Cos. The couple got married in October.

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Lucrece Francois told a judge that Massler had stalked Trump for about two years.

In Twitter messages directed at Trump, Massler said his "dream in life" was to marry her but also called her "a diseased elitist," according to the court complaint. In e-mails to Kushner and the Observer, he demanded that Kushner "surrender" a Fifth Avenue office tower, asked where Kushner lived so he could "talk some sense into him" and discussed "commandeering" the newspaper, the documents said.

Vomvolakis said Massler never came closer to Trump than trying unsuccessfully to send her an $800 pair of earrings he'd bought online from her store.

Massler, who had his name legally changed to Cloud Starchaser, has grappled with psychiatric problems for years and spent time in a mental hospital, his attorney said.

"He's got a very eccentric sense of humor, and he thinks it's funny, declaring himself a celebrity stalker," Vomvolakis said.

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