In the midst of promoting his new album, “Looking 4 Myself”, and fiercely battling in court for custody of his children, Usher Raymond has one more problem. He is being allegedly stalked and fears for his safety. With rapid advancements in social media and extensive GPS capabilities, stalking celebrities has become easier and more popular. While anyone can be a victim of stalking, celebrities and politicians are even more susceptible. The days of sending letters by mail to our favorite societal figures are coming to a close. Now all we have to do is Tweet or send a Facebook message to come in contact with them.
“Facebook stalking has become a normal part of the lives of young Americans,” said Tuskegee University student Kelly Lofton.
Darshelle Jones-Rakestraw was served with a restraining by Raymond after she went to his home, uninvited and banged on his front door demanding to be let in. TMZ reports that the Rakestraw returned to Raymond’s home the next day and police were called. Upon their arrival, Rakestraw is reported to have told the police she was Usher’s wife. However, Usher is recently divorced and not married. Rakestraw was taken by police to Emory Johns Creek Hospital and was admitted for a mental evaluation. She was shortly released and is due in court next month to face the charges filed against her, reported TMZ.
Rakestraw has posted several YouTube videos detailing her alleged relationship with Raymond. In one video she said, “I am not a stalker. I have been an advocate for Mr. Raymond and his family. He has been complaining constantly to me about his ankle pains, his headaches, and his situation with obtaining custody of his children. Now I am put in the position to where I’m told I cannot follow him through emails, through Facebook, or Twitter. That means also itunes.”
She went on to say, “he has officially slandered me and defamed my character.” In this same video, Rakestraw revealed that she would be filing formal charges for slander and deformation against Raymond.
Raymond is not the first celebrity to deal with a stalker. Mila Kunis, P. Diddy, Halle Berry, Madonna, Miley Cyrus, and Mark Zuckerburg have all been victims of similar crimes.
So, what exactly can be considered stalking? Stalking includes any physical or non-physical contact between two or more people that is unwelcome and threatening to the victim. This definition can cover a wide range of behaviors. With rapid changes in how individuals are able to access one another, it is imperative for clear guidelines to be established on what can be considered stalking online and in person. This must be done not only for the safety of famous figures but, also for the safety of all social media and Internet users.
Do you believe that social media has increased stalking?
Tags: Angel Mills, Celebrity Stalking, Darshelle Jones-Rakestraw, TMZ, Usher Raymond