A judge in Santa Clara County has granted Apple a temporary restraining order against a woman accused of stalking and threatening the companyâ€™s chief executive, Tim Cook.
In court documents filed last week and first reported by The Mercury News, Apple accused the woman, a 45-year-old Virginia resident, of making increasingly alarming threats and statements toward Mr. Cook over email and Twitter since late 2020. She also claimed that she was in a romantic relationship with him and that he was the father of her twin children, according to the documents.
The woman, Apple said, emailed Mr. Cook photos of what she said was a handgun and ammunition she had purchased, along with comments like, â€œMy new gun will never return it at this time before I shoot!â€ Apple also wrote that she filed documents to create fraudulent corporations, some with sexually explicit names, while naming Mr. Cook as the executive and listing his home address on the forms.
The situation escalated in October, when the woman appeared outside Mr. Cookâ€™s Palo Alto home in a car with a Virginia license plate and said she wanted to speak with him before security sent her away, according to court documents. She returned minutes later and was stopped by local police officers. They searched her car and did not find any weapons, but they towed the vehicle because her license was expired. She told them that she â€œcould get violent,â€ according to the filing.
The woman continued to send Mr. Cook threatening emails, Apple wrote, including one in early January telling him that he â€œmust empty the condoâ€ and that she would â€œmove in next week.â€
â€œApple believes that respondent may be armed and is still in the South Bay Area and intends to return to Apple C.E.O.â€™s residence or locate him otherwise in the near future,â€ the company wrote. Apple declined to comment on Tuesday.
The restraining order prohibits the woman from owning guns or going near Mr. Cookâ€™s residence or any Apple offices until March 29, when a hearing on whether to extend the order is scheduled. The order also prohibits her from contacting Mr. Cook or tagging him on social media.