Toyah: I'm being terrorised by jet-set stalker 

Midland rock star Toyah Willcox is living in fear after being plagued by a woman jet-set stalker. 

The obsessed fan has been jetting in from New York to harass the singer and actress at her home. And the situation has become so serious that a friend has offered Toyah an ex-SAS soldier to protect her. 

The Birmingham-born singer, who lives in the quiet market town of Xxxxxxxx in Worcestershire with rock star husband Robert Fripp, said: "This woman is severely mentally ill. She is very dangerous. 

"I want her to leave me alone but I don't wish her any harm. I told a high-profile industrialist about the problem and he offered me the number of the SAS man who could 'remove' her. 

"Fortunately, these days, stalkers are taken very seriously and the police have been very helpful." 

So frightened has the 48 year-old star been that she has enlisted Government help. 

"Immigration are also dealing with the problem," she revealed. "They are trying to stop her coming into Britain. It is a long way to come from New York, but that's what people do when they're mentally ill. When I say anything, she thinks I'm communicating with her.  

"I've had to deal with several stalkers over the years. Some are just over-zealous fans who don't mean any harm, but their presence is inappropriate. I don't want people hanging around outside my front door. It's difficult when I live in a town and not the middle of the country. I don't like to create that kind of attention. 

"My husband has had even more problems than me. Ten years ago, someone tried to kill him. The stalker was sectioned and is now in prison in Germany." 

Toyah, who grew up in Kings Heath, Birmingham, is returning to her home city on Saturday to perform at the Alexandra Theatre in The Hitmakers Tour, a 1980s revival show with Howard Jones and ABC's Martin Fry. 

She admits that touring these days is different from 20 years ago. 

"I'm much more relaxed now, and there's no throwing TVs out of hotel windows!" she said. "I used to be very rock'n'roll, going for days without eating and sleeping, and just going AWOL. Once, I jumped off a Manchester hotel balcony and swung from a chandelier in the foyer. It was very dangerous and stupid. 

"A security man had to get a ladder to get me down. I have a lifetime ban from that hotel!" 

These days Toyah is teetotal, and more interested in a quiet country walk. She's made four nature documentaries for the BBC to be screened next year, featuring animals in danger in the Midlands - swans, salmon, water voles and slow-worms. 

It was facing snakes, spiders and eels in the Australian jungle that proved a turning point for Toyah. 

She was horrified to see footage of herself without make-up on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! Jonathan Ross said she looked so awful that she shouldn't be allowed to appear on TV. 

And Toyah agreed with him. 

In February 2004, she went to Paris for a 7,500 procedure and then published a book, Diary Of A Facelift. 

"It's put some people off," she admitted. "They say 'I'm really glad I read your book because I know I could never go through that'." 

Holding her hand after the operation was her husband of 20 years, guitarist Robert Fripp, the 60 year-old founder of supergroup King Crimson.  

Until recently, he spent most of his time working 4,000 miles away in Nashville. They used to spend just 12 weeks of the year together, although they spoke on the phone five times a day. 

Now they are more regularly both to be found in Pershore or at their London home. Toyah admits they have grown closer since her facelift. 

"There were some pretty gruesome moments after the op, but he was wonderful," she said. "He was so patient and calm. I really thought that the moment he saw me, looking all bruised and swollen, he'd run away. But he rose to the occasion brilliantly and it's made our marriage even stronger." 
 

Sunday Mercury
5th November 2006