Hollywood bodyguards are the strong and silent centerpiece of the celebrity entourage, not only a security acid for some they’re also the ultimate status symbol chases to crazy fans of the paparazzi scrum, they’re out to make sure that nobody messes with their clients. Hollywood celebrity bodyguards can stir up trouble. Engaging with paparazzi and unruly fans, pushing boundaries, and even getting hurt or killed.
Are celebrity bodyguards necessary?
Yes. There have been too many incidents and a lot of paparazzi around.
For example, celebrities arrive at a Hollywood movie studio, thousands of partygoers and potential threats are everywhere. Bodyguards are looking for bad guys. They’re looking for body language, facial expressions, and for people that maybe have a fixation with him, that may want to come up to him and approach him.
Personal protection is a huge business, and demand is going up. We’re in a dangerous time, and people are a little bit more concerned about their security. Executive protection does not come cheap. It could be anywhere from 250 to 1.5 million a year and depends on the individual client. The danger is so real the Los Angeles Police District, created a unit to deal with stalkers making threats against celebrities like Britney Spears, Paula Abdul, and Jennifer Garner.
Kent Moyer, CEO of World Protection Group, for example, got his start working security at the Playboy Mansion. Twelve years ago, he created the World Protection Group teaching secret service tactics and celebrity and VIP protection. They are trained to deal with stalkers, crowd control, and escape quickly.
Like many agents, Darrell Clarke has a police and military background. He says the danger and protection work is real. It doesn’t matter really if you’re at A, B or C listed. I mean there’s always somebody that potentially, especially if you are in a spotlight that potentially might want to cause harm, you’ll never know.
Sometimes celebrities get very close to their bodyguards, and the relationship turns hot and heavy. Heidi Klum admitted sparking a romance with her bodyguard. Paparazzi’s caught Kim Kardashian and her former bodyguard in a lip lock, and who could forget Kevin and Whitney? During training, agents are reminded that they are not their client’s buddies. They are not their boyfriend or girlfriend, and the reality is they have to maintain always the professional barrier. Sometimes the relationship goes wrong. A former bodyguard sued Justin Bieber and Britney Spears.
As a status symbol, having a bodyguard says, “you have arrived”.
There is a certain percentage of celebrities who want to have bodyguards for the purpose of saying “I got a bodyguard” when really, there is not much of a threat but more of a showpiece. Jimmy Bennett, who is now branching out into a music career, admits that the risk is low but says the expense of security detail is well worth the peace of mind. There is definitely more threat appearing in the public space, but as long as he has his bodyguards, he thinks he’ll be worried.