The new documentary Take a Chance takes a shocking dive into the mind of an Abba stalker. Was there a true feeling between Gert van der Graaf and Agnetha Faltskog?
Gert van der Graaf, who devoted her life to Abba band Agnetha Faltskog and Sweden, sits on a psychiatrist’s couch and lets out whatever she thinks.
– People think I’m lying. But we love each other, van der Graaf says in Swedish.
Van der Graaf has written hundreds of letters to Fältskog and is still writing them. Agnetha Fältskog is 73 years old today.
Read more: Abba star Agnetha left the public eye after huge popularity – this is what we know about the reclusive singer who turns 70 today.
What kind of person is a Dutch man who fell in love with the dazzling Abba star at the age of eight and swears by the same feelings at the age of 56? The psychologists who are interviewed in the documentary are fascinated by the case.
“The persecutor ruined Agnetha’s birthday”, “A fan from hell!”, “The pop queen lives in terror”, have been headlines over the years. Van der Graaf is a typical stalker, obsessively obsessed with and unable to see or control the destruction he has caused.
In his own opinion, he is just in love.
– Not a day goes by when I don’t think about him.
Agnetha Fältskog declined to participate in the making of the documentary. For example, the Daily Mail magazine stated that the singer was disappointed with the producers of the documentary. In the program, van der Graaf is taken to locations where he followed, spied, and observed Fältskog. That is, “to feel his presence”, as the man himself says.
Fältskog’s friend and Abba’s manager Görel Hansel asked for the entire documentary to be cancelled, as the Abba camp was of the view that it was not fair to expose a predator and abuser and place humiliating moments.
There’s something to reveal: Contrary to all reason, van der Graaf and Faltskog had an actual secret affair in the late 1990s that lasted at least months, even years.
The director of the documentary, Maria Thulin, stressed that the purpose of the documentary is to show the kind of territory fantasy can go into.
– The biggest problem for everyone seems to be that I had an affair with a famous woman, says Van der Graaf, who works as a forklift driver at the factory.
He was deported from Sweden with a restraining order in the early 2000s.
The incident shocked Abba’s fans and the press with its extraordinary nature. Why did the big favorite hook up with a “crazy fan” 16 years his junior?
In the documentary about Van der Graaf, psychologists say – this is not love, this is a crime.
Psychologists have something to say about Faltskog’s choice: A woman disappointed in love may see in the one hundred percent devoted van der Graaf a commitment that no one else can give.
Agnetha Fältskog describes falling in love with van der Graaf in 1997, for example, according to Woman Magazine: “The intense attention he gave me was such that I could no longer resist it. I wanted to know him. Wanted to have.
In the documentary Gert van der Graaf says that his dream has come true. He had worked hard for it: studied Swedish, bought a Volvo, traveled all over Sweden to find Fältskog’s house, bought a cabin in Ekerø near the star’s home, followed his idol’s movements and had them Happy birthday in the park, writing letters – and one day there’s a knock on the cabin door.
There were two women there, Agnetha with her friend. I couldn’t believe my eyes: my greatest love! I was really nervous. I really still don’t believe it, says van der Graaf.
They say that Faltskog came again later in the evening. It was the beginning of a relationship that the singer wanted to keep the star a secret.
– We had an incredibly wonderful time. Agnetha was the first woman I went to bed with. I fell passionately in love. I feel bad if people don’t believe it. It was like a fairy tale! After all I was a simple warehouseman.
The documentary presents one piece of evidence: a photograph in which van der Graaf and Faltskog are sitting on a sofa close to each other in front of the floral wallpaper of van der Graaf’s apartment.
We meet several times a week, go for walks, eat organic food and enjoy nature.
The couple broke up, but after the breakup, according to van der Graaf, Faltskog wrote a longing letter and wanted to start a relationship again.
– The letter read: “Thank you for not giving up and for taking care of me”, van der Graaf reads devotionally from the preserved letters.
The relationship resumed, but the secret partner was not invited to Fältskog’s 50th birthday party. At the same time, van der Graaf’s beloved turtle Bram, his best and only friend from school days, dies, Faltskog wanted a final separation.
– I lost the two I loved most in the world.
As obsessive stalkers often do, van der Graaf became angry and bitter—and he didn’t give up, as he usually does in a normal relationship. Van der Graaf sent over 300 letters.
– He said he liked the fact that I did everything to find him, van der Graaf argued.
While Fältskog stayed away, van der Graaf began behaving in a threatening manner. He contacted Faltskog’s children, neighbors and friends. He called, followed Fältskog’s car and stopped on his heels. In the end, Tara didn’t want to leave her home.
– I don’t understand why we couldn’t talk. I didn’t want to offend him, van der Graaf claims.
A restraining order and deportation will not stop a maniacal predator running on the mechanics of power. Although van der Graaf returned to Holland, he continued to visit Sweden.
Agnetha Fältskog herself dropped a real media bombshell when she publicly admitted a relationship with her stalker. It was hard for everyone to believe and understand.
For security reasons, I don’t want to comment, Faltskog says in a news clip from the documentary.
Three years after the first conviction, Fältskog again needed the court’s help. Van der Graaf frequently stood in his yard. The man appeared like a scarecrow in the kitchen window.
– I was very scared, Fältskog confessed several times.
A sick admirer eventually left her to live in isolation on a farm surrounded by an enclosed garden in the far Swedish countryside.
Van der Graaf, on the other hand, is a prisoner of his own thoughts.
– This is something I cannot let go of until I take my last breath. I never stop because he liked that I never stop, the man says in a serious tone.
Common fan is a good thing which reinforces the feeling of unity. The fact that Gert van der Graaf, when she was young, secretly ran away from her parents to an Abba program in Sweden and looked through the phone book to find her idol’s number is still part of basic fandom. . Similarly, praising idol’s motherland, listening to Abba and writing to Taare.
Buying a house 800 meters away from Murthy’s house and following him relentlessly, several ten to fifteen hour journeys back and forth leads to obsession.
The documentary reflects sentiments that don’t resonate. It is extraordinary that the child who cheered for the Eurovision winner in 1974 still holds on to his sentiments 50 years later.
First England performed, then it was the turn of France and then Sweden. I sang Waterloo all night. My life changed and the world opened up! I looked into Agnetha’s eyes, Abba had won and I was happy.
The Take A Chance documentary will be shown on Friday 19.5. From Prime Video.
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