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Sheryl Crow recalls 'eerie experience' backstage

Singer testifies at trial of man accused of stalking her

From Anne Castellani

Crow recalled meeting a hooded man backstage in October 2003.
Sheryl Crow
Manhattan (New York)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Rock singer Sheryl Crow testified Monday in the trial of a man accused of stalking her, recalling an "eerie experience" as she prepared for a concert last year.

The man, Ambrose Kappos, is on trial on charges of stalking and burglary. Crow claims Kappos stalked her for 15 months from July 2002 to October 2003.

In her testimony, Crow described an October 6, 2003, incident at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City that occurred after a pre-show sound check for a breast cancer benefit concert.

According to Crow, she walked out of her dressing room into an empty hallway and saw Kappos "leaning against the wall" with his arms crossed and hooded head facing down.

The singer recounted that she remembered thinking it was strange that the man was alone backstage.

"It was for me just an eerie experience. Backstage is a sacred, safe environment where I can relax and unwind," Crow said.

Accompanied by her manager's assistant, Pam Wertheimer, Crow then took the stairs down to the artists' back entrance, where a limousine was waiting for her, she testified.

"All of a sudden, there's chaos and I'm pushed into the car," Crow said.

Crow testified that Kappos came up to the limousine and declared, "I'm Ambrose!" -- at which point he was pushed aside by her manager and security.

Kappos is charged with burglary because, according to the complaint, he "knowingly entered and remained unlawfully" in the ballroom.

Earlier Monday, the musician's father, Wendell Crow, testified that Kappos arrived at his Missouri office in June 2002 asking to meet Crow because they were "soul mates."

"I knew that he liked her singing, and I knew that he liked her songs, but I never thought he would go to such great lengths," said Irene Kappos, the defendant's mother.

"He's not a violent person," she added.

Crow, a Grammy award-winning musician who debuted with the 1994 album "Tuesday Night Music Club," has released three studio albums, one live album, and one greatest hits album.

If convicted, Kappos could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison on the charge of burglary in the third degree, and 90 days for stalking in the fourth degree.

The prosecution was expected to finish its case Monday, according to Sherry Hunter, spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office.

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