NEW YORK – Prosecutors have charged a 41-year-old man with stalking Caroline Kennedy's daughter for two years, showering her with flowers, balloons and intimate messages referring to himself as her "hubby."
Naeem Ahmed sent more than 40 messages to Tatiana Schlossberg and continued even after a warning from the Kennedy family's security firm, according to court documents first reported on by the Daily News of New York.
"I know your shape, your sound, your warmth, and your taste," said the inscription on one e-card. Ahmed signed it, "Wishing you a lovely weekend, Hunny Bunny. Sincerely, Yours Hubby, Naeem."
Ahmed's lawyer, Gerald Hertz, said the messages were harmless. A judge has ordered a mental evaluation of Ahmed, who has been in a New York jail since his arrest Dec. 6 on misdemeanor harassment and stalking charges.
"He never hurt anybody; he never made threats against anybody," Hertz said.
Ahmed, of New York, was unemployed and was studying for a taxi driver's license, Hertz said. He was unsure what kind of work Ahmed did previously.
The messages began in October 2008, according to a New York court complaint based on information provided by John Viggiano, the president of Dignitary Protection and Investigative Services, the family's bodyguard firm. Schlossberg, a Yale University student, was 18 at the time.
In May 2009 Ahmed sent a birthday flower arrangement to Schlossberg and a Mother's Day arrangement to Caroline Kennedy. In an e-mail to Kennedy, Ahmed warned her not to talk to anyone about the gifts.
"We can talk and solve all family matters by ourselves," the message said, according to court documents.
In November 2009 Ahmed tried to visit Schlossberg at her New York City home. Soon afterward, Viggiano met with Ahmed and asked him to leave the family alone.
But three months later, the e-mails resumed. Ahmed sent Schlossberg a Valentine's Day e-card that read, "Do I love you? Yes I do. Do you?"
On Nov. 26 he sent an e-card to Schlossberg set to piano music, along with a montage of photos of bare skin, champagne glasses and a bed strewn with rose petals, according to the complaint. The last e-card, sent Nov. 26, showed a boat, fish and bubbles and was addressed to Kennedy and her husband, Edwin Schlossberg.
"Dearest Mr. & Mrs. Schlossberg and Family! Have a beautiful weekend. Sincerely, Naeem," the card said.
Hertz said his client admired the Kennedy family but took his admiration too far.
Caroline Kennedy, the only surviving child of former President John F. Kennedy, is a lawyer and the former chief fundraiser for the New York City schools. In 2008 she announced she was interested in filling the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton after President Barack Obama named Clinton secretary of state. Kennedy withdrew from consideration after little more than a month.
The Kennedy family office said no one was available Friday to field inquiries about the Ahmed case.
Caroline Kennedy has been a prominent supporter of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., whose office is prosecuting the case. She endorsed the Democrat when he ran for the office in 2009.
Vance recuses himself from cases only "in very limited circumstances," such as cases involving someone he represented while in private practice, his office said Friday.
Ahmed is charged with two counts of aggravated harassment and one count of stalking, all misdemeanors. Ahmed has no prior criminal record, meaning he will likely face a maximum sentence of one year in prison if convicted, Hertz said.
Ahmed is barred from contacting Tatiana Schlossberg, Edwin Schlossberg and Caroline Kennedy. He remained in jail Friday after failing to post a $25,000 bond.
He was born in Pakistan but has lived in the United States for many years, Hertz said. He was unsure whether Ahmed is a U.S. citizen.
(This version CORRECTS that Kennedy withdrew from consideration for Senate seat after little more than a month, not a year.)
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