Tim Cook’s alleged stalker tried to give Apple CEO flowers, champagne

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TimCook
Tim Cook allegedly faced threats and harassment from a San Francisco man.
Photo: Salesforce

A San Francisco man accused of stalking Tim Cook allegedly trespassed at the Apple CEO’s home twice in the last three months and threatened various Apple employees, according to court documents obtained by Cult of Mac.

Rakesh “Rocky” Sharma, 42, also purportedly posted sexual imagery to his Twitter account, tagging Cook, and engaged in other inappropriate acts.

As a result, Apple received a temporary restraining order earlier this month mandating that Sharma stay at least 200 yards away from Cook as well as Apple security officer William Burns and other Apple employees.

Supporting documents filed with the court by legal counsel representing Apple detail Sharma’s alleged “erratic, threatening and bizarre behavior,” including entering Cook’s gated property without permission and attempting to deliver gifts of flowers and champagne.

In a statement filed with the court, Burns, who provides security for Cook and other Apple executive team members, said Sharma called an unnamed Apple executive’s phone and left disturbing voicemails in late September and early October of 2019.

Tim Cook’s alleged stalker

Then, Sharma’s behavior went from bad to worse and ultimately included gun-related threats of violence, Burns asserts in his statement. Burns lays out the timeline of Sharma’s alleged behavior in a section of the document quoted below:

Mr. Sharma’s conduct escalated from leaving voicemails to attempted to stalk Apple’s CEO by physically trespassing on the CEO’s personal property. At around 10:30 p.m. on December 4, 2019, Mr. Sharma trespassed on the Apple executive’s property located in Palo Alto, entering the property through the closed gate without permission, and Mr. Sharma attempted to deliver flowers and a bottle of champagne. 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. At around 9:00 p.m. on January 15, 2020, Mr. Sharma again trespassed on the Apple executive’s property, again entering the property through the gate without permission and rang the doorbell. The Palo Alto Police Department was contacted, but Mr. Sharma had left the property prior before the police arrived.

On February 4, 2020, Mr. Sharma made two nonsensical phone calls to Apple. During the first call, Mr. Sharma asked to Speak with Apple’s Legal department. Mr. Sharma stated he was a “victim” because he called an Apple customer service number, that an Apple employee laughed at him over the phone and hung up while Mr. Sharma was allegedly recovering in the hospital. Mr. Sharma further stated that he did not think this was funny, that he was entitled to a cash settlement of an “open check book,” and that his attorney is Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi…

On February 5, 2020, Apple’s attorneys sent Mr. Sharma a letter asking him to cease and desist from contacting Apple and its Executive Team. That same day, Mr. Sharma called Apple’s technical support line (“AppleCare”) and made a number of highly disturbing and threatening comments. During the call, Mr. Sharma stated that he knows where members of Apple’s Executive Team lives, and stated that “I don’t use ammunition but I know people who do,” that Apple‘s CEO is a criminal and that Apple tried to have Mr. Sharma killed while Mr. Sharma was in the hospital. Mr. Sharma made other delusional and paranoid comments related to Apple, including a claim that a Apple products were related to an alleged sexual assault he claims to have suffered.

On February 6, 2020, Mr. Sharma emailed the letter sent by Apple’s attorneys to the Apple Stonestown Store in San Francisco, claiming that Apple was “protecting“ a named individual from being held liable for sexually assaulting Mr. Sharma. The individual Mr. Sharma named in his email was never an Apple employee.

An Apple spokesperson who spoke to Cult of Mac was not able to provide further detail on the alleged altercations between Sharma and Cook at his home.

Restraining order against Rakesh Sharma

Burns “suffered emotional distress and anxiety” as a result of Sharma’s conduct, according to the Petition for Workplace Violence Restraining Orders document filed Feb. 11 with Santa Clara County Superior Court.

The temporary restraining order, filed Feb. 13, dictates that Sharma stays away from Burns, Cook and two other members of Apple’s security team.

In a statement included in the restraining order, Burns – who is a key figure in court documents because of his position and knowledge of the many alledged incidences – says he fears that Sharma might harm him or other Apple employees.

“Based upon Mr. Sharma’s increasingly threatening comments, including his reference to the use of firearms, his continued threatening conduct, such as repeatedly trespassing at the residence of Apple’s CEO, as well as his previous confrontation with law enforcement, I strongly believe that Mr. Sharma may physically harm me, another member of Apple’s security team, and/or member of Apple’s Executive Team…. Mr. Sharma’s continuous and increasingly threatening conduct is causing me and other Apple employees significant emotional distress and gives me grave concern for our personal safety.”

Apple Inc. v. Rakesh Sharma

The restraining order petition asked that Sharma be barred from all Apple corporate locations in Cupertino, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and San Jose, as well as all Apple retail locations and the “residence or personal real property of any of Apple’s Executive Team.”

However, the court appears to have limited the stay-away order to Apple headquarters at 1 Apple Park Way and 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, as well as Cook’s residence in Palo Alto. A handwritten note calls the request to include additional locations “overly broad and not specific enough.”

By California law, the temporary restraining order forbids Sharma from owning, possessing, having, buying or trying to buy guns, other firearms, or ammunition.

Burns also alleged that Sharma “had altercations with law enforcement in the Sacramento area during the past few months.”

A court hearing to determine the status of a more permanent restraining order is scheduled in Santa Clara County Superior Court on March 3. It is unclear if Sharma has retained legal representation.

Via: Dave Gershgorn

Additional reporting by Brad Gibson.