‘WSJ’ Reporter Was on Uma's Stalker's Jury

umathurman
Photo: AP

Reporter Emily Steel was The Wall Street Journal's secret weapon in the Uma Thurman–stalker trial. You see, she was actually on the jury. Ca-ching! So theJournal had her write what amounted to a first-person diary entry about her experiences, which would have been fine, except that they put it on A1, alongside the results of the Democratic primary and Fannie Mae’s $2.2 billion loss in the first quarter. Mind you, the piece does actually delve into some elements of the law, so it’s not exactly the equivalent of yesterday’s cover story in the Post, "Lindsay Lohan Stole My Coat," but it’s not necessarily that far off, either. Rupert Murdoch is clearly making the editorial decisions here.

It took the jury seven hours of deliberation to answer this complex question: "Where is the line between obsession and menace?" But what happened behind the scenes? The fun was in the details, so we now bring you the most mundane, but amusing, moments from the jury deliberations.

• The jury included two lawyers, a statistician, a Brooklyn artist, a rock-show caterer and a former editor for the TV show Wife Swap. If this were Monopoly and we got to pick who we would be, we would totally pick the rock-show caterer.

• One night during the trial she actually dreamt about Uma. Who’s the stalker now, Emily?

• The jury members were highly pleased with their depiction in the court artists’ drawings, which is really saying something, considering what the sketch artist did to Uma.

• During deliberations, they ate Entenmann’s donuts, Sun Chips, and baked Cheetos (Jesus, really?). And red Twizzlers, which she brought. Which she brought!

• On the day of deliberations, several jurors woke up sick to their stomachs.

• One juror said Uma isn't a great actress, but that her delivery on the witness stand was the most heartfelt performance he'd ever seen her give. He obviously has never seen My Super Ex-Girlfriend, because when Uma hurls that great white shark at Luke Wilson, she does it with heart.

• As Emily left the building, other reporters were grilling her for quotes about what it was like to be a juror on the trial. And it all comes full circle! —Noelle Hancock

My Legal Cameo: Why We Convicted Uma Thurman’s Stalker [WSJ]