Nicola Benedetti ‘has learned to live with’ her stalker

2 July 2018, 12:31

Nicola Benedetti has been victim to “three or four” serious cases of stalking
Nicola Benedetti has been victim to “three or four” serious cases of stalking. Picture: PA

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

The top violinist said she has been a victim of stalking and had to take out a restraining order against one obsessive fan.

Nicola Benedetti, one of today’s finest and most in-demand violinists, has revealed she has been a target for stalkers in “three or four” serious cases.

One fan followed her around Japan and jumped out at her in hotel lobbies, while another threatened to kill himself when he found out she had a boyfriend (cellist Leonard Elschenbroich, from whom she separated last year).

She told The Times: “I’ve had three or four more serious cases, one really bad. I had to get a restraining order because it was a source of such stress.

“My worst experience was a guy in Japan who found every hotel I was staying in. He would appear from behind a pillar when I walked through the lobby.

“There is also someone with a severe mental instability who does scare me. We try to be careful, to be aware of where he is. But I am not overly worried. He has been in the same vicinity as me many times and has never tried to attack me.

“I’ve learnt to live with it.”

Benedetti, who is from West Kilbride, Ayrshire, was left too scared to stay at home alone after a man tried to break into her flat in London in 2010.

She now keeps her London address a secret, and her team monitors the location of a fan who has previously followed her.

Benedetti also spoke about the physical toll of being a professional violinist, in a separate interview with The Mail on Sunday.

Her 301-year-old Stradivarius violin – which was loaned to her by arts patron Jonathan Moulds and is worth a huge £10 million – has left her with noticeable scars and bruises on her neck.

Photo credit: Luigi Beverelli

She told the newspaper: “They don’t hurt, they’re just numb. I’ve never known how I look without them as they developed at such a young age.

“But I always request for them not to be covered by make-up. Photographers frequently want me to do that, and I ask for them to be left alone. I guess that says I’m proud and comfortable with them.”