NY man admits stalking Caroline Kennedy's daughter

AP News
Posted: Apr 11, 2011 7:33 PM
NY man admits stalking Caroline Kennedy's daughter

A wannabe taxi driver admitted Monday he stalked Caroline Kennedy's daughter by deluging the college student and her parents with unwanted flowers, chocolates and romantic emails.

"I am not a bad person," Naeem Ahmed said during a series of rambling remarks about his interest in Tatiana Schlossberg and her famous family. "I did it for respect. I did it for their love. I still respect them. I still love them unconditionally."

Ahmed, 41, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and stalking charges in a deal that got him out of jail after about four months there. He was sentenced to 60 days he had already served.

Representatives for Schlossberg's family weren't in court and didn't immediately return a telephone call about the developments, which spare the family the prospect of a trial.

Ahmed was accused of sending more than 40 messages to Schlossberg and her parents: Caroline Kennedy, the only surviving child of President John F. Kennedy, and Edwin Schlossberg, who designs museum exhibits and other public spaces.

Over two years starting in October 2008, Ahmed sent Tatiana Schlossberg flowers, balloons and emails professing his love, sometimes addressing her as "hunny bunny" and signing off as her "hubby," prosecutors said in court documents. One electronic card featured such intimate images as bare skin and a rose-petal-strewn bed and bore an inscription that began, "I know you, I know the feeling of you," according to court documents.

Schlossberg, a Yale University student, was 18 when the messages started.

Her parents also got electronic cards, flowers, chocolates and messages, including an email asking them not to "involve anyone else" in "our very personal family matter," prosecutors said.

After Ahmed tried to visit the Schlossbergs at their New York City home in November 2009, their security firm told him to leave them alone, but the messages continued, according to court documents.

The Pakistani-born Ahmed, who was unemployed and studying for a taxi driver's license, was arrested in December. A psychiatric examination found him fit for trial.

Ahmed could have faced up to two years in prison had he been convicted. He pleaded guilty Monday after a judge told him the offer was an "unbelievable" deal. But first, Ahmed spent several hours conferring with his lawyer, consulting a friend and launching into disquisitions about his respect for the Constitution and the legal system, his fondness for the Schlossbergs and his concern for his future and the details of his three-year probation.

"I'm not emotional. I'm not crazy," he said. "I want to get out of this situation."

If he stays out of trouble for a year, he may be able to substitute a guilty plea to a noncriminal violation.

Ahmed said as he left court that he didn't believe he'd committed a crime but pleaded guilty because he believed it would please the Schlossbergs, whom he said he admired for their "family traditions" and "human values." He said he'd honor court orders to stay away from them but still believed he someday would be in their good graces.

"It's a matter of time," he said.

Caroline Kennedy has been a prominent supporter of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat whose office prosecuted the case. His office has said he recuses himself from cases only in very limited circumstances, such as those involving someone he represented while in private practice.

Caroline Kennedy, a lawyer and former chief fundraiser for New York City public schools, briefly pursued political office herself. In 2008, she announced she was interested in filling the U.S. Senate seat that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was vacating. Kennedy withdrew from consideration after little more than a month.