The True Story of Being Stalked By an Older Man

Bruce Willis and Sugar Baby Emma Heming

Sam was stalk­ing me, but not pur­su­ing me exces­sively or harass­ing me; his stalk­ing took the form of a jour­nal he was keep­ing on me, which out­lined all my com­ings and goings when I was not with him. He noted what I was wear­ing (any­thing show­ing my legs was “adver­tis­ing myself”) and where I was going—from the time I left to when I returned. How much makeup was I wear­ing? How about that per­fume! (He wrote about that many times.) The truth is, I like per­fume and wear it whether I’m going out to din­ner or to the gro­cery store.

I learned of the jour­nal after Sam passed away. The writ­ing of it took place dur­ing the last six months or so that we were together, before I ended the May-December rela­tion­ship. Sam was 22 years my senior and a retired exec­u­tive, but had pur­chased a bar/restaurant busi­ness that he was strug­gling to make a suc­cess. I worked dur­ing the day, but he had to be at the restau­rant a lot, so my evenings and week­ends could get lonely. I started pur­su­ing activ­i­ties to occupy my time, and he knew I was enjoy­ing these pur­suits, much to his dis­may. In his mind, I was slip­ping away. While I was branch­ing out, Sam was stuck in an unsuc­cess­ful busi­ness in his retire­ment years. This was when the jour­nal came to life.

One night, his obses­sive­ness reached its pin­na­cle. One of the new inter­ests I had was in my church’s young adult Bible study group. We all enjoyed the lessons and each other’s com­pany, so we would rou­tinely retire to a local bar after meeting—including our young asso­ciate pas­tor who ran the group. On our last night of study group before fall, our pas­tor invited us back to the rec­tory, where we had wine and snacks, toasted each other, and talked about the poten­tial of con­tin­u­ing our stud­ies. It was mid­night, and we were still dis­cussing ideas, when we heard a knock on the door. It was Sam. He pro­ceeded to ask the pas­tor if he “rou­tinely had the mem­bers over to drink until this hour!” I was mor­ti­fied, and nat­u­rally, every­one was won­der­ing what was going on. To stop his embar­rass­ing inter­ro­ga­tion of the pas­tor, I left quickly, demeaned and annoyed.

The next day, I went to see our pas­tor to apol­o­gize for what had hap­pened. He said, “I cer­tainly was sur­prised to see your father com­ing for you at your age!” I had to explain that he was not my father, and the pastor’s look was one of aston­ish­ment, while mine was embarrassment.

I found out about Sam’s jour­nal from his son. He found it in Sam’s desk at the restau­rant, and Sam had detailed that entire evening. His son said, “My father was obsessed with you.” He told me he read just enough to make him appalled, and that he wanted me to wit­ness his destroy­ing it. He tore it up right then and there.