Gay Apple CEO granted restraining order against SF man who sought to deliver flowers, champagne

  • by John Ferrannini, Assistant Editor
  • Friday February 21, 2020
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Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo: AP Images/J. Scott Applewhite
Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo: AP Images/J. Scott Applewhite

A San Francisco man is the subject of a temporary restraining order issued in Santa Clara County February 13, preventing him from coming into contact with gay Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The restraining order is effective through a hearing on the subject that will be heard in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose March 3.

Rakesh "Rocky" Sharma, 41, allegedly trespassed at Cook's Palo Alto home on the night of December 4, according to court records.

"Entering the property through the closed gate without permission ... Mr. Sharma attempted to deliver flowers and a bottle of champagne," according to a sworn declaration from William Burns, a global security specialist with Apple who is named in the restraining order. Burns stated his work involves the personal security of Apple executives.

Sharma allegedly entered Cook's property another time, on the night of January 15. Entering through the closed gate again, Sharma rang the doorbell. The police were called but Sharma disappeared before they arrived, according to Burns.

The harassment of Cook and other Apple executives began last September, when he left "disturbing voicemails" on an Apple executive's phone, according to Burns.

Sharma made two phone calls to Apple on February 4. In the first he claimed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) was his attorney. In the second he claimed "he was being harassed by an Apple employee and provided a name of an individual which Apple confirmed does not work for the company," Burns wrote.

During a February 5 call, Sharma "stated that he knows where members of Apple's executive team live, and stated that 'I don't use ammunition but I know people who do,' that Apple's CEO is a criminal and that Apple tried to have Mr. Sharma killed while Mr. Sharma was in the hospital," the declaration states.

After Apple sent Sharma a cease and desist letter, Sharma forwarded it to the Apple store at 3251 20th Avenue in the Stonestown Galleria (near Sharma's residence, according to court documents), stating that Apple was "protecting" one of its employees, who he alleged sexually assaulted him, according to Burns, although Apple contends the named individual never worked for Apple.

"Based on Mr. Sharma's increasingly threatening comments, including his reference to the use of firearms, (and) his continued threatening conduct ... I strongly believe that Mr. Sharma may physically harm me, another member of Apple's security team, and/or a member of Apple's Executive Team," Burns wrote.

Sharma has been ordered to stay at least 200 yards away from Burns, Cook, Cook's residence, and Apple's corporate locations, among related people and places, according to a copy of the order obtained by the Bay Area Reporter.

A Twitter account associated with Sharma repeatedly tags Cook in tweets, along with other famous figures such as former President Barack Obama.

Apple, its attorney in this matter, and Sharma had not returned requests for comment at press time.

Cook became the CEO of Apple in 2011 shortly before the death of the company's co-founder Steve Jobs. In 2014, Cook became the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to come out as gay.