Emma Watson has a new movie coming out, so she’s making the obligatory media rounds to promote it. In a Vanity Fair interview, she mentioned that she does not allow fans to take “selfies” with her. Possibly her security staff has warned her about this, and probably her own experience with intrusive fans has taught her to set boundaries.
As Watson points out, a selfie posted on Facebook establishes her location “within 10 meters.” This is a gift to stalkers, who can range from harmless to psychotically violent. During the Reagan administration, the late NBC News anchor Jessica Savitch was stalked by a man who wrote her that he was going to kill Vice President Bush or Secretary of State Haig to impress her. One day, he sneaked past security and entered Savitch’s office. When she realized who he was, she feigned delight at meeting him — long enough to get by him and out the door.
Being famous practically guarantees that one will have stalkers. It’s so common among people in the public eye that a significant body of research exists from which to detect some patterns:
There is no black-and-white profile for celebrity stalkers, because so many people approach and communicate with them, and the vast majority are harmless. The warning signs mentioned above are not conclusive, because many people engage in those types of behaviors and yet never commit a crime against their target. The best course of action for Watson, or anyone who needs to discourage a stalker, is to do just what she's doing: Set boundaries and avoid being too approachable and too vulnerable.