THE American star of the hit television series Sabrina the Teenage
Witch, Melissa Joan Hart, has recieved a series of death threats while
filming in Queensland.
Hart, 23, has been shooting the telemovie Sabrina Down Under on Hamilton
Island and the Gold Coast. and her mother Paula Hart, exutive producer
of the series, has told of the terror that has accompanied the shoot.
Mrs Hart said the threatening phone calls, made to the show's production
office in Los Angeles, began when the story first appeared in the press
that the show would be filmed in Australia.
"There was a real flurry of calls several weeks ago which were very
disturbing about what would happen if we came to Australia," she said.
Sources on the Sabrina set said the unidentified male caller could have
made the threatening calls from within Australia, possibly from Brisbane
or the Gold Coast.
"We contacted the Los Angeles Police Department immediately," said Mrs
"It was a hard decision to make to still come here but after discussions
between ourselves and the police, it was felt that, with protection,
Melissa would be all right.
During her stay in Queensland, Hart has been provided with
around-the-clock security and, all cast, crew and visitors to the
Sabrina set last week were issued with identification tags.
A burly minder shadowed her every move, following her around the set
during filming and in production breaks.
It is not known whether her co-stars in Sabrina Down Under, Australian
actors Peter O'Brien and Scott Michaelson, were aware of the death
threats, but an insider on the set said: "We all feel for Melissa in
Mrs Hart said the family was trying not to allow the phone calls to ruin
their visit in Australia.
"But, as a mother, this has been the most awful time, this is my
much-loved daughter, we're talking about so to hear this sort of this is
"But we made the decision to go ahead in good faith, believing Melissa
would be cared for and the police would catch this person, something
that they are very confident of at this stage."
But the campaign of terror has continued, with the show's office still
recieving calls as late as last Tuesday saying "I know where you are and
I'm still going to do what I said I was going to do".
While Queensland Police said they were not aware of the situation, a
spokesperson for the Federal Police said they could neither confirm nor
deny if they were looking into the case.
Hart joins a growing list of actors threatened in Australia, with Water
Rats Star Catherine McClements, reporter Liz Hayes, singer Judith
Durham, news presenter Sandra Sully, radio presenter Helen Raser and
Olivia Newton-John all targets of unwanted attention from unbalanced