The intense media focus on celebrities is leading an increasing number of mentally disordered people to place such celebrities at the focus of their delusions in such a way as to lead to violence. The delusion may take the encourage the person to believe that the celebrity is romantically interested, or is the only person who can provide protection from some form of persecution or injustice. Any rebuff, following an attempt to communicate may either reinforce the belief or result in anger and violence.
In 1989 it was reported that there have been as many injurious attacks in the USA on public figures by mentally disordered people as in the previous 175 years. The most prolific writer has sent more than 10,000 letters, mostly to a single entertainer, in six years.