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Shania Twain Stalker Arrested at Juno Awards

Jag Gundu, Getty Images

Just moments before Shania Twain was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the Juno Awards in Toronto Sunday night, an audience member was taken into custody by Toronto police and quietly led away. The man was Dr. Giovanni Palumbo, a 50-year-old Ottawa doctor, who had been accused of stalking the Canadian superstar, and has been under court order to stay 500 metres away from her.

“One of her people had spotted him,” Det. Michael Jander told Canadian newspaper, the Toronto Sun. “He said he just wanted to meet her.”

The arrest was made without incident, and the Ottawa doctor was ordered to appear in court at Old City Hall the morning after.

According to the newspaper, the doctor’s medical license had been suspended but then was re-instated after he spent time at the Royal Ottawa Hospital as a mental health patient. On March 7, he appeared in court in response to criminal harassment charges involving the Canadian songstress, but because Shania was out of the province and unable to appear in court, the charges against him were dropped.

The doctor will now stay in jail until at least Friday, April 1, at which time his bail hearing for alleged breaches of previous court orders will be heard. As Justice of the Peace John Jackson at Toronto’s Old City Hall ordered Palumbo to “make no contact with Shania Twain,” the doctor laughed and shook his head.

“You are all doing a wonderful job, Your Honour,” he said. “I am in jail. How can I contact anybody? I am in jail.”

Previous allegations state that Dr. Palumbo had been sending Shania letters and flowers in Switzerland and had shown up at her Muskoka cottage. He was also previously arrested for showing up another time, wearing a Shania T-shirt and carrying her autobiography.

Shania, who attended the awards show with new hubby Frederic Thiébaud, appeared to be blissfully unaware of what was going on behind the scenes as she basked in the glow of her formal induction.

“I feel wonderful in Canada, the people have never let me down,” the glowing beauty told reporters backstage after receiving her lifetime achievement award. “The fans have been amazing. I just love this place. I’m at home here, and this is a really big moment. It feels really genuine in every way.”

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