The Crown star Claire Foy ‘feared stalker was going to kill her and her daughter,’ court hears

Jason Penrose bombarded Claire Foy with emails and turned up at her home  (ES Composite)
Jason Penrose bombarded Claire Foy with emails and turned up at her home (ES Composite)

The Crown star Claire Foy feared a fixated American stalker was going to kill her and her daughter after he bombarded her with emails and turned up at her home, a court had heard.

Jason Penrose, 49, sent Foy’s publicist Emma Jackson more than 1,000 explicit emails, including one referring to rape between 19 February 2021 and 7 February 2022.

The actress was horrified when Penrose turned up at her home on 17 December last year and repeatedly rang her doorbell, Thames Magistrates court heard.

She now suffers sleepless nights and has even begged her film industry colleagues not to tag her in pictures in case Penrose uses them to track her movements.

Varinder Hayre, prosecuting, said: “Ms Foy has been targeted by Mr Penrose in a sustained, unwanted, fixated and obsessive behaviour that was intrusive due to his delusional beliefs.

“Mr Penrose was claiming she was interested in him romantically and he did believe she would like to star in a movie he was planning to make.”

Claire Foy was said to suffer sleepless nights following her stalking ordeal (PA Archive)
Claire Foy was said to suffer sleepless nights following her stalking ordeal (PA Archive)

Penrose launched a “campaign of consistent stalking” sending thousands of emails, eight switchboard messages and going to the star’s home.

On the night he went to Foy’s address, the door intercom was answered by her daughter, and Penrose said: “It’s Jason, I’m outside.”

The stalking left the actress “in genuine fear for her safety and terrified and helpless in her own home”.

Penrose initially contacted Foy through her agent and publicist claiming to be a movie producer.

He said he was a scriptwriter with a $20million deal with Warner Brothers Studio and wanted Foy to act in his sci-fi film.

Penrose also tried to contact Foy on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Ms Hayre described some of the emails sent by Penrose as “quite graphic”.

She said: “He talked about the victim Ms Foy being raped and wanted her to be his girlfriend.

“There were pictures of Mr Penrose himself in various hotels and locations in Camden.”

Penrose also contacted Foy’s sister by email and ex-boyfriend by text.

“Ms Foy was terrified as she did not know what his intention was. She was in fear for her and her daughter’s lives,” said Mr Hayre.

“She was frightened knowing he was somewhere.”

The stalking had “an extreme effect on her life and peace of mind”.

“She struggles to sleep and is terrified in her own home. She feels like the freedoms before Mr Penrose contacted her have now gone,” Mr Hayre added.

Foy even asked friends not to tag or picture her in photos at social events for fear of Mr Penrose being able to track where she is.

In a letter written to court Foy said: “His relentless attempts to contact me are so traumatic. Every time I think this is sorted it is not.

“I feel like there is nothing that would stop him being able to contact me, he has affected every aspect of my life.”

The actress played the Queen in the first two series of Netflix’s hit show and has won a Golden Globe, two Emmy Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

She was granted an interim stalking protection order earlier this year, but despite the order Penrose sent her another letter and a parcel from the hospital where he was being treated.

District Judge Michael Oliver had previously imposed a five-year stalking protection order against Penrose in July after the actress raised “great concerns due to the nature of the communications”.

Wearing a white shirt and brown cap, Penrose appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday to plead guilty to stalking involving serious alarm or distress - which carries the maximum sentence of 10 years jail, under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

He also admitted two breaches of a stalking protection order.

Penrose was accompanied by NHS workers and gave his address as Whittington Hospital in north London.

He was granted bail ahead of sentence on 28 November at Wood Green Crown Court.

District Judge William Nelson said: “I consider this offence passes the threshold of the powers this court has to impose sentence.

“I agree with the prosecution where the starting point is two years and six months imprisonment.

“The persistent conduct created very serious distress, a great deal of psychological harm and caused Ms Foy to make considerable changes to her lifestyle.”

The judge warned Penrose he may be facing “a lengthy prison sentence”.

Penrose, originally from the USA, was released on conditional bail.

He must surrender his passport to police, not apply for travel documents, live and sleep as directed by the Islington NHS Trust, not contact Foy directly or indirectly or attend an address he knows or believes to be her address.

From the dock Penrose said: “I don’t have any interest in doing that.”

A medical report and pre-sentence report have been ordered before his sentence.

Moira MacFarlane, defending, said: “It was misrepresented in the papers that he had threatened Ms Foy with rape and that was never the case. He made reference to rape.”