A woman living in Bali has been forced to flee her home after allegedly being harassed by a man on the other side of the world who threatened to "kidnap" her before flying to Indonesia from the UK to find her.
Alexandra Saper, a 31-year-old travel influencer, told Yahoo News Australia the man has been sending her inappropriate and explicit emails and Instagram messages since about July last year, but despite ignoring him and reporting him to authorities, he continued to relentlessly "stalk" her and her friends, she claims.
Ms Saper, who moved to Bali from Washington DC in the US five years ago, says the British man believes there is something between them and has sent a series of "concerning" videos and messages expressing his feelings toward her. But the situation escalated two weeks ago when he flew to Bali to find her, allegedly claiming he'd "shove [her] body in a suitcase" because she was his.
"It has been sickening and terrifying," she said on Sunday, admitting the threat has forced her into hiding at an undisclosed location where she detailed the ordeal to Yahoo, away from her Cangu home in Bali.
Forced into a desperate move, she also shared details in a video with followers on Instagram in which she ultimately identified the man, who Yahoo News has decided not to name.
"For about a year, I’ve been targeted by a deranged and delusional stalker who, in the last three weeks, has flown from the UK to Bali to find me… sending me hundreds of emails and videos threatening, in graphic and disturbing detail, how he plans to kidnap me, rape me and other women, shove my body in a suitcase, and more horrific things that I don’t need to share on social media," she claimed.
"Ultimately I had to make the hard decision to leave and go somewhere I knew I’d be safe, where I couldn’t be followed, and I could start taking care of my mental health and focus back on my clients/business."
'Stalker' responds to Ms Saper's claims
Snippets of their communication over the past few months have since been made public, both by Ms Saper as well as by the London-based man, as the bizarre affair played out on social media. He has shared a series of his own videos on Instagram in response to Ms Saper, defending his decision to fly to Bali.
He claims he was drawn there through Ms Saper's public posts on social media, which he believes were a direct response to him and his unread emails. He also shared screenshots of his "hundreds and hundreds" emails to her, admitting she never replied to any of them.
"I'm here in Bali because I have been coached, almost pulled here", he said in a video shared on Thursday. "About a third or maybe half of her Instagram posts are replies to my emails," he claimed.
Speaking with Yahoo, Ms Saper strongly denied ever having a relationship or friendship with the man who she says started sending"weird" messages after following her on Instagram last year. Since then, he's attempted to communicate with her through various fake accounts after she continued to block him.
"I've never had a conversation with him, I’ve never met him," she claimed. "I don’t always immediately block men who send weird messages, but I don’t engage with them".
'Serious' threats prompted police report
Ms Saper said she gets "dozens and dozens of messages a day" from people she doesn't know, but admitted his were "very weird" from the start. The 31-year-old said things took a turn about three months ago when she saw messages from him saying that he'd fly to Bali, and as time went on they became "more serious" and involved "sexually explicit" threats.
In videos shared with Yahoo, the man is heard addressing Ms Saper from London where he lives. "I know how you’re feeling, I know you feel something," he says in one. Multiple videos show him detailing how he will "kidnap my Spartan queen", with one email from him claiming he will spend the rest of his life with her.
Ms Saper said she started reading some of the emails that had been going to her spam folder. Until then, she'd ignored them all.
"I noticed a kidnapping threat saying he was going to come and find me and kidnap me. I was really scared but I assumed he wouldn't actually come," she revealed.
"I brought [the videos and emails] to the police but nothing was done. They sent me to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation to prove I was really scared," she claimed.
Influencer goes into hiding over safety fears
At this point, the thought of going out alone "terrified" her and she eventually moved in with a friend. Her business as a female empowerment coach was struggling and her mental health was suffering too. So last Monday the 31-year-old made a split decision to leave the country.
Ms Saper said it's extremely "heartbreaking and frustrating" to know authorities don't always take these situations seriously and admits she feels "disappointed and let down" that they "didn't do their job". She said she doesn't feel safe knowing the man is still roaming freely and other women are also at risk.
She hopes sharing her story will help to put a stop to his behaviour.
Despite the situation, Ms Saper says she loves what she does and has spent five years "building my dream life and business"online. She's always been careful about how much she shares, and claims deleting her social media accounts is not a solution.
"I know social media has its risks and downsides, but it’s also given me a platform to speak out about these issues and give a voice to women who haven’t had one, and I’m really grateful for that," she told Yahoo.
"I don’t know what 'healing' is going to look like for me after this but I will do whatever I can to get my life back and feel safe again."
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