Kathryn Erbe knows what it’s like to play a police detective … and also what it’s like to need one.
The stage and screen actress revives her New York-sleuth character Alexandra Eames opposite fellow returnee Vincent D’Onofrio when the 10th and final season of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” starts Sunday, May 1, on USA (then gets repurposed on NBC beginning Monday, May 30). During her year off the show, Erbe has remained public for another reason — a none-too-pleasant one for her and her family.
A Philadelphia man was convicted last November of stalking her via the Internet, after sending messages not only to her, but also to her teenage daughter through Facebook and MySpace. Testifying at the trial, Erbe claimed the man “infiltrated my life” through actions that also included his trying to get physically close to her at a location shoot in the summer of 2008.
“I don’t know that it is possible to adapt to that,” Erbe tells Zap2it. “I’m not the kind of person who lives in the public eye the way other actors do, and I cherish my private life. I’m also a very vulnerable person emotionally; things affect me, and it’s strange to go through something as difficult as we did with this situation.
“Very private and very upsetting details were in the paper, and I’d be next to people who were reading the articles on the subway, which I take all the time. It’s just that you feel so vulnerable. You’re exposed in a way that is not really fun, but on the other hand, I had women and men of all ages saying, ‘I’m so sorry that happened to you’ and ‘How are you?’ and ‘That happened to me and I got through it, you’ll be OK.'”
The case continues, since the stalker has yet to be sentenced. That was scheduled for the end of February, but a note from the man’s wife convinced the presiding judge to order a psychiatric evaluation first. In the meantime, Erbe is still receiving evidence that others are behind her.
“People were incredibly supportive, and still are,” she says. “That is a wonderful feeling.”