Some people might not mind having an attractive female amateur filmmaker and former stripper from Russia as a stalker, but for a married man and CEO of a large game developer, that might pose as a problem.
The news media and even Hollywood itself have conjured up possible avenues this type of admiration can take. For Zynga CEO and founder Mark Pincus, he was forced to file for a restraining order against his creepy fan in March 2011 after she supposedly threatened his wife and children. The woman in question, Vera Svenchina, reportedly visited his home in person twice in a week. A judge granted the restraining order, citing "stalking" and "a credible threat of violence."
Now almost a year later, Zynga's most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that the company spent almost $1.2 million on security for the CEO and his family -- that's a huge jump considering the company only spent around $70,000 a year before.
"In addition, in 2011, due to specific threats relating to the personal security of Mr. Pincus and his family, we provided Mr. Pincus with certain security protection," the filing reads. "The nature and extent of the security services provided to Mr. Pincus were based on the recommendations set forth in an independent third-party security study."
"The security services we provide are reviewed periodically to ensure that they provide appropriate levels of safety, security and accessibility for Mr. Pincus and safety and security for his family where appropriate," the filing adds. "We believe that these security services are a necessary business-related expense and are not provided to Mr. Pincus with compensatory benefit or intent."
Eventually it reveals how much was actually spent on the Zynga CEO. "Includes payments made in connection with security provided to Mr. Pincus and his family in 2011. This amount reflects the cost to the Company for business and travel related security protection, as well as costs associated with the purchase, installation and maintenance of home security systems in the amount of $1,169,896, and legal and temporary housing costs incurred in connection with specific security threats."
Pincas said he actually knew the stalker, that she previously dated one of his friends. But at the time she wasn't so quite off her rocker, appearing quite "normal." Eventually she began to say "bizarre" things to him, claiming that Zynga was really her Russian family's idea, and that Pincus's children were "ugly babies" and that "I wish them all the worst."
Prior to that in 2010, she claimed that Google's co-founders killed fer father and that they were sending messages to her brain -- the police had her committed for 72 hours. Then in March 2011 she followed a blind employee into Google's headquarters and left a Russian book and a non-threatening letter to Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Google didn't press any charges.
The story surrounding Vera Svenchina goes on and on, some of which is captured in emails, voicemails and blog posts here. Needless to say, there's good reason why Zynga spent almost $1.2 million securing its CEO and family. Maybe one of the TV networks will invest some funds in a made-for-TV movie-- the stalker even resembles Jennifer-Love Hewitt, no?