Britney drops stalker suit. Japanese ''fan'' says it was all a big misunderstanding

By Gary Susman
Updated April 17, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Maybe it really was just a ”cultural misunderstanding.” That’s what Japanese computer programmer Masahiko Shizawa’s lawyer said in January when Britney Spears accused him of stalking her and filed a request for a restraining order. On Wednesday, attorneys for Spears and Shizawa reached an agreement that included having the 21-year-old singer drop her complaint, Los Angeles court officials told the Associated Press.

Spears had accused Shizawa, a wealthy 41-year-old from Yokohama, of sending her hundreds of love letters and photographs of himself — including a note reading, ”I’m chasing you,” — and had turned up uninvited at her home and her parents’ home. At a February hearing, however, his lawyer, Simon Hiller said, ”He’s not a stalker. He’s an avid fan.” He said his client, who had returned to Japan after his visa expired, wanted to clear up the matter so that he could be allowed back into the United States.

The 21-year-old singer’s lawyer is expected to file papers Friday to drop the restraining order bid, though neither side is likely to discuss details of the agreement, Reuters reports. Now, if Britney can just keep Fred Durst and Colin Farrell away…