Gates McFadden has appeared at countless Star Trek conventions over the years.
Just like the rest of the Star Trek: The Next Generation actors, Gates McFadden has represented the series many times over the years, appearing on panels, answering fan questions, and signing autographs. She maintains a presence online where she interacts with her fans, and most recently, she reprised her role as Dr. Beverly Crusher for the final season of Star Trek: Picard.
But, once upon a time, McFadden was hesitant about appearing at any Star Trek fan conventions, and it wasn’t she was too nervous or had stage fright. It ws because of a stalker, and, in a recent interview with Michael Rosenbaum, host of the Inside of You podcast, McFadden shared the details of her horrifying experience with the stalker she actually met face to face.
Gates McFadden had a stalker who just wouldn’t give up.
McFadden shares how this stalker would send her letters, dead flowers, and somehow managed to find her no matter where she went. The particularly harrowing incident she described brought her face to face with the man terrifying her.
She had rented an apartment in Cambridge, and during a snowstorm, she and several of her neighbors were trying to dig their cars out of the snow. She met a guy who had taught photography at Rhode Island School of Design, and after trying to clear their cars out for hours, he invited her to his apartment for a hot toddy. McFadden agreed.
While the guy was preparing their drinks, there was a knock on his door. It turned out to be McFadden’s stalker who grabbed her by the hair. Somehow he’d managed to find her on a snowy night in a different city, and McFadden said “it was like Tony Perkins from Pyscho.” The guy who rented the apartment had a fake gun, and he used it to scare away the stalker. Shockingly, the police said there was nothing they could do because McFadden hadn’t been hurt even though she’d been assaulted.
McFadden slept with a butcher knife under her pillow for quite a while. Rosenbaum asked McFadden what eventually happened, and she said “it just sort of trailed off.” Before that, though, she never knew when she’d run into him which is what kept her away from the conventions.
It’s horrible that, not only was McFadden stalked, but she couldn’t press charges against the guy unless he harmed her.. It took until 1990, when actress Rebecca Schaeffer was killed by a stalker, for the first anti-stalking laws to be passed.