Apple has obtained a temporary restraining order against a man accused of stalking Tim Cook at his home, leaving a ‘disturbing’ voicemail and tagging him in inappropriate photos on Twitter …
A California court granted Apple a temporary restraining order against Rakesh Sharma, who goes by “Rocky.” He has been ordered to stay away from Cook’s residence in Silicon Valley, as well as the CEO’s three security guards. The order lasts through March 3, when a hearing is scheduled.
In a court document, Apple security specialist William Burns said Sharma’s harassment began on Sept. 25, 2019, when he left a “disturbing” voicemail on “an Apple executive’s phone.” Sharma allegedly made another unsettling call about a week later. After that, Sharma’s behavior “escalated,” Burns said, to attempting “to stalk Apple’s CEO by physically trespassing on the CEO’s personal property” on two separate occasions.
Sharma entered Cook’s property through a closed gate without permission at around 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 in an effort to deliver the flowers and champagne, a filing said. “Shortly thereafter, Mr. Sharma continued to tag the Apple executive on his Twitter account, which included sexualized and inappropriate photos of Mr. Sharma with reference to the Apple executive,” it said.
From the rest of the report, it would appear there are significant mental health issues involved. A hearing has been scheduled for March 3 to decide on the next steps.
Despite his role as the main public face of Apple, Cook maintains a low profile when it comes to his private life. Although he decided to go public about his sexual orientation, he said he made the decision only after realizing how much it could help those who might be struggling with their own identity.
I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.
The reference to Cook’s ‘three security guards’ is surprising. Allowing for round-the-clock protection over three 8-hour shifts, that suggests he has only one bodyguard at any one time. Although additional security will doubtless be used for public appearances, like store visits, that still seems a very basic level of day-to-day protection for such a well-known person.
It’s likely this is at Cook’s request. He lives a modest lifestyle, only switched to flying on private jets when the Apple board of directors made it a security requirement, and plans to give away all his wealth over his lifetime, so he probably doesn’t want the fuss of a larger security detail. Though with someone now stalking Tim Cook, that may change.
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