In February, Zynga CEO and founder Mark Pincus filed for a restraining order against Vera Svenchina, an amateur filmmaker and former stripper from Russia.
In a declaration to a court in San Francisco, Pincus says Svenchina threatened his wife and children and even visited his home in person twice in a week. Pincus's declaration includes bizarre emails and voicemails he allegedly received from Svechina over a span of several days in mid-February. A judge granted the restraining order in March, based on "stalking" and "a credible threat of violence."
This kind of thing happens more often than it should to successful tech entrepreneurs. In February, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg filed a restraining order after a stalker told him he was "ready to die for you."
You've heard of Mark Pincus because Zynga is the multi-billion dollar Facebook games studio that created mega-hits Farmville, CityVille, and FrontierVille. Started just a couple years ago, Zynga already has a bigger market valuye than one-time videogame industry leader, Electronic Arts.
Svechina, Pincus's alleged stalker, is much more obscure, though she'd like not to be.
She's got a book and an animated film. She kept a blogs about her experiences working a strip clubs in San Francisco and Las Vegas. She has another blog dedicated to her time working as a foreign hostess in Japan. She once sold t-shirts under the "Flying Stripper" brand.
In the voicemails, emails, and posts to her blog Pincus submitted as evidence in his declaration, Svechina allegedly says many bizarre things, including that Zynga was her Russian family's idea, that Google's cofounders killed her father, that Pincus's children are "ugly babies" and that "I wish them all the worst." She also goes after Steve Jobs.
In May 2010, Svechina went to the Mountain View Police Department to report a crime. That crime, according to a Police spokesperson: Google was sending messages to her brain, ordering her to kill herself. The police committed her to a mental ward for 72 hours.
Last month, Svechina followed a blind employee into Google headquarters and dropped off a Russian book and a non-threatening note for Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Google security letter reported the trespass, though no chargers were pressed. In the declaration, Pincus says he got to know Svechina years ago, when she dated a friend of his, and that she appeared "normal" at the time.
Besides Pincus's declaration and the restraining order itself, we've also obtained from a reader a document that, at first glance, appears to be a 2004 letter Pincus once wrote to help Svechina, explaining that he'd like to invest in one of her films.The letter looks like something someone would write to help a friend obtain a visa. But the letter may be fake, especially since it ends with an obvious grammatical error.
Zynga and Mark Pincus declined to comment on this story. We reached out to Vera Svechina and did not hear back.