The story of a possibly armed and disturbed stalker who had driven across the country to be close to Apple CEO Tim Cook, and who claimed that Cook was the father of her children, has led to a day in court in San Jose.
The 46-year-old accused stalker, who has not been named in the Mercury News's reporting but who has been identified in court documents and in the New York Post as Julia Lee Choi of McLean, Virginia, appeared in Santa Clara County Superior Court Tuesday. A judge signed off on a temporary stay-away order that was agreed upon by both Apple's security department and Choi, in which Choi apparently agreed to stay away from Cook and all other Apple employees for three years, and that she surrender or sell any weapons she owns.
We first heard about Cook's stalker back in January, when the restraining order was first filed.
Choi, who apparently started this bizarre Twitter account back in October 2020 under the name Julia Lee Cook, claimed that Cook was the father of her twins, and in multiple posts in a single day referred to Cook as her man and her husband. "I love you more than myself my hubby!" she wrote, and she also made an odd reference to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, misspelling his name and claiming that he tried to "interrupt Cook's love" and "tried to hurt me several times."
Perhaps in reference to the well known fact that Cook is gay, she also wrote in a tweet, "totally understand my husband's past and relationships with unexpected parties."
Things didn't stop with Twitter stalking, however, and according to a restraining order filing in January by Apple security specialist Jose Barrera and obtained by KRON4, Choi drove to the Bay Area from Virginia in a Porsche Macan SUV and showed up at Cook's residence in October 2021. In the intervening year, she had allegedly emailed Cook hundreds of times, and registered multiple fake corporations in California, Virginia, and New York in which she named Cook as a corporate officer, some of which reportedly had "highly offensive corporate names." (We still have not seen what these are.)
The court filings suggest that Choi's antics escalated last fall, and included her emailing Cook an application to become his roommate in his Palo Alto condo. Also, in an email asking for a sexual relationship with Cook, she allegedly said her patience was "almost done." She also allegedly tweeted from a new account in January that Cook should be "suicided" in his condo, and referred to another woman with whom she seemed to believe Cook was in a relationship. She also was demanding millions of dollars from Cook in a December email, and by New Year's she was also demanding that Cook move out of his condo so she could move in.
When police questioned her in her SUV, apparently sitting near Cook's home in October, they said she had no weapons, but they towed her car because she was driving on an expired license.
And, it seems that this stalker has not left the area, despite the January restraining order. Per the Mercury News, Apple "tracked her down to a house near I-280 in San Jose," and it remains unclear whether she actually possessed weapons.
An earlier order, apparently agreed upon last week, would have forced Choi to stay away from Cook indefinitely. But the new order stipulates three years, and both parties were apparently now in agreement, with Barrera telling the Mercury News, "We’re happy with the outcome."
Choi is not being charged with any crime.
But, she has agreed to remove Cook's name from her fictitious business entities.
Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook attends Apple's "Ted Lasso" Season 2 Premiere at Pacific Design Center on July 15, 2021 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)