Celebrity bodyguard – at first glance, it seems like a glamorous job. You’d be jetting all over the world, staying in posh hotels and eating at upscale restaurants. You’d be taking your clients to nightclubs and media appearances, and maybe even making an appearance in a few celeb Instagrams yourself.
That’s the dream. The reality is a little different. Your workday is long, and entirely dictated by the whims of people with wealth, fame, and all the yes-men that money can buy. Pop stars, royalty, billionaire business people – they’re all used to getting their own way, and think nothing of making outrageous demands on your time and efforts. As far as the posh lifestyle, some of that might be true. But, while your clients are dining, drinking, and partying, you’re stone cold sober, constantly vigilant and on the look out for trouble. You have to be prepared for long hours of standing around while they party and socialize, and tense moments when stalkers and obsessed fans want to get too close.
It’s only natural that bodyguards and their long time clients often develop close relationships, (and sometimes reeaal close). On the flip side, it’s also natural that tempers sometimes flare, and as in any break up, bodyguards and their former clients sometimes find themselves on opposite sides of an argument. Celebs with the smartest lawyers have the tightest non-disclosure clauses, but lucky for us, some of them were a little more lax, and former bodyguards to the world’s elite classes have been able to spill their secrets in the media. Naturally, it’s probably more common to snitch on a former boss when the parting wasn’t so amicable, and it’s the conflicts with security personnel that hit the headlines, not those with tight relationships. It’s a window into a rarefied world; here’s some of the juicier stories we found.
1. MICK JAGGER AND DAVID BOWIE IN THE CLOSET
While the debauched partying is going on, the bodyguard is the sober guy watching the door. A case in point: not long after David Bowie’s demise early in 2016, Stuart George, his bodyguard of 14 years, went public with a series of revelations of his life with the Thin White Duke. One fateful night in the 1970s at the New York Plaza Hotel, George found himself on duty guarding the door of Bowie’s walk-in costume wardrobe as the iconic singer and Mick Jagger indulged in a threesome with a female British singer, and plenty of cocaine. George didn’t skimp on the details either. Apparently, ballet star Rudolf Nureyev wanted in on the action, but George held him off – Bowie’s instructions were to let no one in at all until the trio was done. While George kept the middle of the threesome a secret, Ava Cherry, a former backup singer for Bowie, added her own public confession that she’d been the filling in that rock-and-roll cookie.