A woman accused by Apple of stalking CEO Tim Cook for more than a year — emailing him photos of a loaded pistol and traveling across the U.S. to trespass at his home — agreed Tuesday in court to stay away from the tech chief, Apple employees and properties, and give up any guns she may possess.
Apple had received a temporary restraining order against the woman this January, after alleging “erratic, threatening, and bizarre behavior.” The company included in the application copies of photos, emails and tweets purporting to come from the woman. Apple said the woman “may be armed and is still in the South Bay Area and intends to return to (Cook’s) residence or locate him otherwise in the near future.” Apple said it believed she drove a Porsche Macan SUV from Virginia to Palo Alto and showed up at Cook’s home Oct. 22.
The temporary order prohibited the woman, 46, from possessing guns, approaching any Apple employees including Cook, entering any Apple property or going to Cook’s Palo Alto residence, but was set to expire Tuesday.
Apple CEO Tim Cook (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group File Photo) Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group archives
Last week, Apple and the woman — who was representing herself, without a lawyer — jointly filed for a permanent restraining order that she keep away from Cook and any other Apple employees, and that she sell or surrender to authorities any guns she possessed, a court filing showed. Apple had tracked her down to a house near I-280 in San Jose, according to a court filing. However, a judge declined to sign the order, saying the woman would be questioned at the already-scheduled hearing Tuesday, a filing showed.
On Tuesday, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Erik Johnson signed a new order that Apple and the woman had agreed upon, with the same terms as the proposed temporary order but lasting for just three years. The woman, dressed in a medium-length wrinkled coat, plaid-patterned white pants and black wedge heels, answered briefly with “yes” and “yes, sir” when Johnson asked her questions to confirm she understood the terms of the order.
Cook did not attend Tuesday’s hearing.
Apple security specialist Jose Barrera had said in a January court filing that he works closely with Cook and feared the woman posed a threat to the CEO and all Apple employees, including himself and the company’s security team. Outside the courthouse Tuesday, Barrera said, “We’re happy with the outcome.”
The three-year order also bars the woman from contacting the CEO or Apple employees directly, indirectly, or electronically through email, social media or other means.
Cook first learned in late 2020 that he was the subject of the woman’s obsession because he receives alerts when he’s tagged on Twitter, the initial application said. The woman, using the last name “Cook,” claimed she was the Apple CEO’s wife and that he fathered twins with her.
She tweeted about the purported relationship a dozen times on Halloween 2020, and from late October to mid-November of that year emailed Cook about 200 times, the messages showing “a significant escalation in tone, becoming threatening and highly disturbing,” the restraining order application said. A series of missives contained photos of a snub-nosed revolver and bullet cartridges. In an email expressing a desire for a sexual relationship with Cook, she said her patience was “almost done,” the application said.
A woman accused by Cupertino technology giant Apple of stalking company CEO Tim Cook leaves Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, and threatens to sue a photographer taking her picture. The Virginia woman, 46, agreed in court to a three-year restraining order to keep away from Cook and Apple property and employees, and to give up any guns she may possess. (Ethan Baron/Bay Area News Group)
Meanwhile, she was registering fake corporations, some with “highly offensive corporate names,” in California, Virginia and New York, naming Cook as a corporate officer, director or agent, according to the application. The three-year restraining order requires her to remove all mention of Cook and Apple from any corporate entities she has registered.
By September last year, the woman “became obsessed” with Cook’s Palo Alto condo and sent him an email applying to be his roommate, the application said. When she arrived at the property and told security she wanted to speak with Cook, they asked her to leave; she complied but soon returned, then left and waited in her car, according to the application.
Palo Alto police responded to the alleged trespassing, and the woman was stopped “after attempting to flee,” the application said. She allegedly told police she was staying in Palo Alto and “could get violent.” No weapons were found during a search of her Porsche, which police had towed because the woman’s driver’s license had expired, the application said.
She continued emailing Cook, the application said. Because she provided a San Jose address, San Jose police responded and found it to be an Airbnb where the woman was not present, according to the application.
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A week before Christmas the woman emailed Cook again, with a demand for hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the application. On New Year’s Day, she tweeted, again with violent language about Cook, from a new account, the application said. The most recent email, sent a few days later, ordered Cook to move.
The woman declined to speak to news media outside the courthouse Tuesday, and it was not immediately clear whether she planned to return to Virginia.