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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc asks fans to stop coming to his home

Charles Leclerc greeting fans ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia last month in Melbourne.

By Derrick Bryson Taylor

A Ferrari Formula 1 driver in Monaco is drawing firm boundaries with overzealous fans who have shown up uninvited at his private residence, about a year after he was robbed while taking a selfie.

The driver, Charles Leclerc, who was born and raised in Monaco, pleaded with fans recently not to show up at his home. He added that he would stop to talk to fans elsewhere, like in the streets or at the track.

“For the past few months my home address has somehow become public, leading to people gathering beneath my apartment, ringing my bell and asking for pictures and autographs,” Leclerc said in a now-expired story on his Instagram page.

“While I’m always happy to be there for you and truly appreciate your support, please respect my privacy and refrain from coming to my house,” he continued, adding that he would not respond to unsolicited visitors.

“Your support, both in person and on social media, means the world to me, but there is a boundary that should not be crossed,” he said.

Leclerc’s management team and the government authorities in Monaco who investigate such matters did not respond to requests for comment.

It’s not uncommon for celebrities to come face-to-face with overly excited fans, sometimes called stans, a term derived from a 2000 Eminem song about a fan who becomes so obsessed, he kills.

On occasion, authorities have been known to get involved when interactions become dangerous or unlawful. Last September, an Ohio man was sentenced to more than three years in prison after a dozen years of harassing actress Eva LaRue and her daughter. In 2019, a man pleaded no contest to stalking Rihanna after he was accused of breaking into the pop star’s California home a year earlier, according to KABC, a local news station. He was sentenced to five years of probation.

Leclerc’s concerns about privacy come days after authorities in Italy arrested four people in connection with the theft of his watch last year. Last April, Leclerc was robbed by two people wearing helmets, who asked for a selfie in Viareggio, a seaside community in northern Italy, according to Reuters.

The perpetrators took his Richard Mille watch. While it’s unclear how much Leclerc’s particular watch was worth, watches from the same maker can range in price from the upper five figures to more than $2.5 million, according to Gear Patrol, a product-buying guide for technology, cars, watches and more.

Leclerc is currently ranked 10th in Formula 1, and he came in seventh place at the Rolex Australian Grand Prix qualifying race earlier this month.

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