Closing arguments will begin Thursday in the trial of a Georgia man accused of stalking supermodel-turned-TV host Tyra Banks.
Brady Green, 39, has been accused of repeatedly calling Banks' studio, showing up there and sending her flowers and letters. He faces as many as 90 days in jail if convicted by Judge James Burke, who is hearing the case without a jury in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Green was arrested March 18, 2008, at a McDonald's near Banks' studio in Chelsea. He told officers he and Banks "had a thing together," police said.
Banks said she was about to leave the studio that day when her staff warned her about Green. She said they had previously shown her Green's photograph, told her he had threatened one of her employees and was "somebody I should watch out for."
The former Sports Illustrated cover girl said she told officers that arrived on the scene that she was scared.
"I didn't know what to do. How do I live my life when I leave this building? I had never experienced anything like this before," she said.
The Dublin, Ga., man has been charged with stalking, harassment and criminal trespass, all misdemeanors.
Calm and smiling frequently as she testified, Banks said security "has changed significantly" around her and her workplaces because of Green.
She said that her company has hired more security staff and that her studio audiences are vetted more thoroughly.
Banks said she is now followed everywhere by security guards, even when she runs and exercises outdoors. Even though she is a public person, "I don't live that kind of sheltered, protected life," she said. "I like to walk around."
Assistant District Attorney Sean McMahon asked Banks whether Green's behavior made her fearful.
"I don't fear for my life," Banks said. "I fear for my safety. I fear for the safety of my staff and for my family. And I fear for the safety of people in my vicinity, who I'm with."
Green testified that Banks' shows on racism and homelessness had moved him and he wanted to contact her. He said his attempts to get tickets for her show had been misunderstood.
Questioned by his lawyer, Jeffrey Berman, Green testified that he never threatened Banks, never intended to scare her and never tried to date her.
On cross-examination, McMahon got Green to admit he rode a bus for four days from Los Angeles and to New York where he had no friends, relatives and no job, and the first he thing he did was go to the building that houses Banks' studio.
Banks is executive producer and host of two popular TV shows, "America's Next Top Model" and "The Tyra Banks Show."http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TYRA_BANKS_STALKER?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2009-04-30-07-22-49