It took seven hours for the jury in the Uma Thurman stalker trial to reach its decision, a member of the panel said on Wednesday – one day after Jack Jordan was convicted of fourth-degree stalking and second degree aggravated harassment, yet found not guilty of two charges of aggravated harassment.
The issues faced by the 12 jurors – all with highly different backgrounds and opinions – essentially boiled down to whether Jordan, 37, was “a lovestruck fan with an odd sense of humor and no sense of boundaries” (as his legal reps argued), or was he “a threat who should face jail time?” writes Wall Street Journal reporter and juror Emily Steel in her newspaper.
In the jury room, Steel writes, Jordan’s behavior toward Thurman was fervently discussed, as was the star’s own demeanor on the witness stand.
When the actress herself testified “that she was very frightened when she read the contents of the package” sent by Jordan to Thurman (Steel described the contents of Jordan’s delivery and his message as “creepy”), “I was struck by how she wouldn’t look at Mr. Jordan,” writes Steel.
Just How Frightened?
“At one point, leaving the stand, she seemed to hide her head in the crook of her arm,” Steel also says of Thurman – though, she goes on to report, the jurors questioned just how frightened Thurman really might have been.
“The fact that she was a famous movie star made us partly charmed, partly suspicious,” Steel writes – even quoting one juror who dismissed Thurman’s acting talent but praised “her delivery on the witness stand [as] the most heartfelt performance he’d ever seen her give.”
Another juror suggested that celebrities like Thurman should be accustomed to being followed by strangers, while another still “reminded us that we shouldn’t consider Ms. Thurman any different than an average citizen.”
Besides herself, the others on the jury says Steel, included “two lawyers, a former editor for the TV show Wife Swap and a rock-show caterer who considered Jordan, who had stalked Thurman on and off for two years, “a smart, manipulative man who knew what he was doing [and] knew what he was sending was inappropriate.”
Jordan now faces up to a year in prison.