NEW YORK – A relaxed Sheryl Crow (search) testified against her alleged stalker Monday, describing how he appeared outside her dressing room after a Manhattan concert.
The singer testified that she had seen Ambrose Kappos (search) only once, standing outside her dressing room on Oct. 6, 2003, as she left the Hammerstein Ballroom, but had never met or spoken to him.
"I thought it strange that someone would be outside the dressing room who was not supposed to be there," Crow said.
Minutes after leaving the building, she said, Kappos approached her group.
"I was headed into the limo and suddenly there's chaos and I was pushed into the car, and my manager was telling someone, 'Back away! Back away!'"
"We drove away, and that's when Pam Wertheimer (a member of her management team) told me who `Ambrose' was," Crow testified.
As Crow spoke, Kappos watched her intently, sometimes smiling faintly.
Kappos, 38, is being tried on charges of burglary and stalking. Prosecutors say he pursued Crow from July 2002 until his arrest the night Crow saw him. If convicted, he could face more than seven years in prison.
After his arrest, Kappos told police and prosecutors on videotape that the word "fan" was inadequate to describe his attraction to Crow. He said he was a "spiritual twin," and that he and the pop rocker were destined to marry and have children.
Kappos' lawyer, Stan Hickman, asked Crow on cross-examination whether the defendant had ever contacted her personally and whether he had threatened her.
Crow said Kappos had not.
Before Crow took the stand, her sister, Kathryn, testified that she was home alone on July 7, 2002, when the telephone rang.
"He asked me if I was Kathy Crow," she said. "It was a little bit alarming to me because (the telephone number) was unlisted. He identified himself as Ambrose."
"He said at that time that God had been speaking to him," she testified, and asked to speak to Sheryl. When she asked why, he said it was none of her business, and he hung up after she said no meeting would be arranged, she testified.
The singer's father, Wendell Crow, 72, said Kappos showed up at his offices two days later, in his Navy dress whites, "a spit and polish sailor" who made a good impression.
The elder Crow said Kappos assured him he was not some kind of "nut or kook and that he was a Navy SEAL. He said he felt he was a soul mate to my daughter Sheryl, that he was the answer to her prayers. He wanted me to arrange a meeting with her."
Although the original police report identified Kappos as a former Navy SEAL, prosecutors now say he was a diver in a unit that worked with the SEALs, but was never part of the elite unit.
Kappos' mother, Irene, who was in court, said her son had been "enamored" of the singer but no longer wants to meet her.
"He'd be crazy if he did," she chuckled.