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Jerry Lewis Stalker Apologizes

September 23, 1999 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ The man who spent more than four years in prison for stalking Jerry Lewis wants the comedian to know he’s sorry.

``I apologize and it’ll never happen again,″ Gary Benson said in a phone call to the syndicated ``Inside Edition″ television show on Wednesday.

Benson said he called Lewis about 12 times and went to his house a couple of times. He said he didn’t realize his actions would have such an impact.

``I didn’t think I did anything,″ he said.

Benson, a 56-year-old diagnosed chronic schizophrenic, was convicted in 1995 of aggravated stalking and is scheduled to be released Oct. 5.

On Tuesday, a court granted Lewis’ request to extend a 1992 protection order against Benson until Sept. 21, 2000.

According to an affidavit, Lewis alleges Benson called him as recently as May and said, ``Jerry, I’ll be out in 65 days.″

Benson’s attorney said his client plans to reside in another state upon his release.