Famous celebs' bodyguards: Surprising stories they've revealed

When we think of celebs' bodyguards, we tend to assume that they're a steely, silent bunch — most with some kind of military training, at least according to this Vice exposé. As former bodyguard Mark "Billy" Billingham told the site, "We're all about keeping calm in high-pressure situations and avoiding conflict. We keep our heads when everyone else is losing theirs."

But in the age of the Internet, celebrity bodyguards have started to generate levels of attention similar to their famous charges. Whether it's making the lists of the hottest security staff, appearing in documentaries about their day-to-day experiences, or even inspiring a hit TV show, bodyguards are no longer just the typically giant people you see ushering the rich and famous between the latest hot spot and their ride.

That's right — Hollywood's bodyguards are letting loose and getting chatty. Read on to find out about some of the biggest, most surprising celeb stories that came straight from their security staff.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's bodyguard spills the beans

In October 2016, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's former bodyguard, the aforementioned Mark "Billy" Billingham, granted a revealing interview to UK tabloid The Sun about his time spent guarding the world famous pair for 18 months. Along with describing how close he got to both the actors and their six children, Billingham also said how Pitt would joke around, saying, "Once, it was Angie's birthday and we were all sitting in [an] Audi Q7. I hadn't been working with them long and suddenly Brad has locked the doors and farted and we couldn't get out."

Um, ew.

Billingham also described his surprise at Pitt and Jolie's level of naïveté when it came to their personal security, telling the paper, "What surprised me was their low level of common sense. I found it crazy when they would ask me questions like, 'How do I go down to that bar?' and 'What do I need to do to get there?'… I found that weird." Ultimately, the high-pressure job became too much for Billingham, and he quit in order to spend more time with his own family.

David Bowie's bodyguard revealed a secret relationship

David Bowie was a giant rock star and rumors about his sex life have long abounded (including some unsettling reports of an affair with an underage fan). In February 2016, his former bodyguard Stuart George, who protected Bowie for nearly 14 years, added to the scandalous whispers when he disclosed to The Sun that he had once had to guard the door while Bowie had a threesome with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger and "a rather famous female British singer."

"It was the mid-1970s — anything went back then. The three of them ended up in a walk-in closet filled with Bowie's costumes," George told the paper, adding, "David told me to wait outside and make sure they weren't disturbed. … [Dancer] Rudolf Nureyev was partying with them but spotted them sneaking off and wanted to join in. He said 'I have to be in there.' I politely said 'No.'"

Job well done, we guess. 

Britney Spears was allegedly super inappropriate

Britney Spears' former bodyguard Fernando Flores made waves in September 2010 when he filed a lawsuit against the pop star, claiming that she had sexually harassed him and had repeatedly made "unwanted advances" during the period she employed him. 

As TMZ reported at the time, Flores alleged that Spears exposed herself to him on several occasions and once "intentionally dropped her cigarette lighter on the floor, bent over to retrieve it and thereby exposed her uncovered genitals," causing the bodyguard "shock and disgust." The suit described another incident in which a naked Spears stood in front of Flores, and "after an awkward silence … Spears asked [Flores] to get her two bottles of 7 Up." 

According to the Daily Mail, Spears denied Flores' charges through a spokesperson, saying that Flores was simply trying to "take advantage of the Spears family and make a name of himself."

Two years later, in September 2012, TMZ reported that Spears and Flores had settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money.

Kanye West didn't want anyone talking to Kim

As the New York Daily News described, bodyguard and ex-NYPD member Steve Stanulis is an old pro at Hollywood security, having tended to the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio. And yet, his relationship with Kanye West became rather stormy, as Stanulis was fired in 2016, allegedly for making a move on West's wife, Kim Kardashian (at least, according to Kanye).

Stanulis later went on the record with the Daily Mail to tell his side of the story, saying West needed to "chill the f*** out" and denying that he'd ever hit on Kardashian. Stanulis then went on to describe West's erratic behavior, telling anecdotes about how the rapper-turned-fashion designer wouldn't even offer his staff a glass of water and had frequent temper tantrums. 

The ex-bodyguard also told The Sun that West's staff wasn't allowed to wear anything aside from plain black clothing, explaining, "I was told, 'Patterns distract him.'"

Stanulis summarized his experiences guarding West and Kardashian to the Daily Mail as, "Forgettable, traumatic, not worth it and disappointed." 

This bodyguard definitely did not have Bieber Fever

More sketchy celebrity behavior came to light in January 2013, when pop singer Justin Bieber's ex-bodyguard Moshe Benabou filed a complaint in Los Angeles court alleging that Bieber had physically assaulted him. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Benabou claimed that Bieber went on a massive tirade against Benabou on Oct. 10, 2012, and then fired him. Per the official complaint, "The tirade was apparently triggered by what Justin Bieber perceived as an attempt by Moshe Benabou to keep one member of Mr. Bieber's entourage physically away from Justin Bieber. … Bieber repeatedly punched Moshe Benabou in the chest and upper body area. Mr. Benabou did not retaliate or attempt to protect himself out of his concerns for Justin Bieber's physical well-being." 

THR reported that Benabou was also suing the singer for unpaid overtime compensation, "alleged failure to pay vacation wages, alleged failure to pay wages due immediately on termination, [and] alleged failure to pay his expenses." Jeez.

Per CNN, the suit was settled out of court in February 2014.

Two words: Uncle Elton

In March 2016, the Los Angeles Times published a lawsuit from bodyguard Jeffrey Wenninger that alleged that Elton John had repeatedly sexually harassed him during the time that he was employed by the singer. According to the paper, between 2002 and 2014, John "inappropriately touched Jeffrey Wenninger on multiple occasions and made sexually suggestive comments." The paper noted that the alleged incidents "[escalated] in frequency and intensity after 2010."

Wenninger's suit described numerous incidents in which John had tried to put his hands down the security officer's pants and said things like, "Get your todger out" and "Say hello to Uncle Elton." John's lawyer denied all allegations, releasing a statement that read, in part, "This baseless lawsuit is brought by a disgruntled former security officer seeking to extract an undeserved payment."

According to TMZ, the case was dismissed in November 2016. Wenninger reportedly did not receive any kind of financial settlement. 

Morrissey allegedly gave disturbing orders

In a story that seems like something from The Sopranos, British singer Morrissey's ex-bodyguard Bradley Steyn filed a lawsuit in August 2014 alleging that the singer and his manager had asked Steyn to physically harm a man who ran a fan website. Huh?

Per The Daily Express, Steyn accused Morrissey of asking him to track down Morrissey-solo.com webmaster David Tseng's address in order to hurt him. As the paper described, "Steyn accuses Morrissey and [tour manager Donald] Knutson of asking him to commit 'a criminal act' and then firing him when he refused." Steyn sued Morrissey and his manager for breach of contract and hoped to recoup "a minimum of £155,558 in compensation and punitive damages, plus his legal costs."

As Spin reported, Morrissey released a statement denying all charges, writing, "Although Steyn's story lends itself to its own ridicule, I feel I must say to those who have not yet worked it out, that the story is a vexatious lie." The singer added, "The very idea that I would ask a complete stranger (Bradley Steyn) to physically attack David Tseng surely cannot register with any sane person as being likely. As mildly irritating as David Tseng may be, he is not someone who troubles me enough to even bother with." Zing.

According to New! magazineSteyn dropped the suit in January 2015.

Michael Jackson's bodyguard raised questions about his family

Michael Jackson's former bodyguard made headlines in September 2010 with the claim that he — not the singer — was the father of Jackson's son Blanket. According to the Daily Mail, Matt Fiddes, a martial arts expert, alleged that he had donated sperm to the singer in 2001, after Jackson had expressed his desire to have an "athletic child." 

Fiddes told the paper, "[Jackson] said he wanted a fit, athletic son. He offered me half a million pounds but I said no. I was already a multi millionaire and I didn't need the money or want to take his." The celeb bodyguard added, "In 2009 a mutual friend saw a picture of Blanket in a magazine and rang me straight away. He said 'what have you done? You've donated sperm to Michael.' He saw the likeness straight away." To date, there's been no test to prove that Fiddes is Blanket's biological father.

Fiddes was back in the papers in 2012 when he came forward to tell The Sun that Jackson had "had an ultra-secret affair with Whitney Houston that he never got over." Fiddes added, "I know he dreamed of marrying her." He also told the paper that Jackson was "impotent" as a result of his drug use, had anorexia, was obsessed with Nazism, and was convinced he'd be assassinated. Enough already.

It wasn't good to be the King

For Elvis Presley's ex-bodyguards Sonny West, Red West, and Dave Hebler, the surprising stories about their charge were so legendary that they had to get together and write an entire book to capture them all.

As Elvis: What Happened? describes, the book paints a portrait of the rock and roll star as a man who "charmed a beautiful young fan into joining him on a drug binge for two that nearly killed her," "took a group of friends on a 3 A.M. visit to a mortuary to look at corpses and talk about embalming," and "talked with his bodyguard about a 'hit' on the man he felt stole his wife." And that's just for starters!

According to Rolling Stone, the book was rumored to have left the King "despondent" when he learned of its existence, and ended up being published just four days before his death in 1977. In a press interview just after the book's release published by Rolling Stone, both authors claimed they loved Presley and hadn't written the book to hurt him, despite its depiction of Presley's' bad behavior and drug use.

Eminem's ex-bodyguard talked about shady business

Elvis Presley's bodyguards aren't the only celeb security staff to get in on the publishing game. Rapper Eminem's former bodyguard Byron "Big Naz" Williams came out with his own memoir in 2000, titled Shady Bizzness: Life as Eminem's Bodyguard in an Industry of Paper Gangsters. 

He explained to Vibe in 2016, "When I wrote the book, it was never my intention to attack Eminem. But we had a falling out financially — and I decided to write the book to recoup some of the money that I lost." In a review, the AV Club described the book as "a pathetic portrait of Eminem as an irresponsible, deeply unhappy man-child who relies on his bodyguard/self-styled mentor/babysitter/conscience/better half/life coach for everything." Not too surprising that the two lost touch, is it?

For his part, Williams told Vibe that the book details various moments in his long relationship with Eminem, including a particularly terrifying evening in which notorious  producer Suge Knight sent henchmen to threaten the rapper (though Williams was reportedly able to usher Eminem to safety). 

As of September 2016, the celeb bodyguard's relationship with Eminem hadn't improved, and Williams told the Murder Master Music Show that, during his last interaction with the rapper, "we both had our hands on our weapons."