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Celebrity bodyguard Simon Newton reveals what it's like to protect A-list clients mobbed by fans: 'We couldn't go anywhere'

Usually, a celebrity bodyguard isn't the one whose face is splashed across newspapers or who inspires articles about their fashion prowess.

But Simon Newton is no regular bodyguard. The British former soldier has been the personal security to some of the most famous faces in the world – and it was the launchpad for his own glittering movie career.

Speaking to 9Honey Celebrity, Newton, 44, recalled some of his favourite A-list clients, including the very recognisable popstar who was his first celebrity job.

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Simon Newton

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"I was working in Afghanistan at the time and I was coming home on leave for four weeks when I got a call asking if I could look after a guy coming into London," he says.

"At first I didn't really feel like spending 10 days working during my time off, but I thought at some stage I wanted to come back to London and I would need work. 

"So I turned up for the job, and it was Michael Jackson. He was the first celebrity I ever looked after."

Newton was just 26 at the time and admits he didn't "really appreciate" how famous the King of Pop truly was.

He was one of five bodyguards who protected the late singer in London in the early noughties.

"We had a lot of fans fly in from all over the world, ones who even booked rooms in the same hotel so they could wait for him in the lobby," Newton recalls.

"Then they'd jump in a taxi outside and follow us around all day. We couldn't really go anywhere without being mobbed, really."
Rita Ora and Simon Newton

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The experience taught Newton, who served in the British Army during the Iraq war until 2003, the dark side of extreme fame.

He says the stars he protected lived sheltered lives, unable to step outside without being flocked by fans or enjoy the simple pleasure of a coffee at a cafe.

"I always say to people, if you want to be a celebrity you need to understand what that means," he says.

"If you want to live a normal life, especially for an A-list celebrity, you need to stay away from public transport and stay in expensive hotels, and all that costs money. If you were super famous with no money, I imagine life would be impossible."

So I turned up for the job, and it was Michael Jackson. He was the first celebrity I ever looked after.

After officially returning home from his time in Afghanistan, Newton started getting more work with Hollywood stars.

He then started his own private security company, which has since attracted A-list clients such as Naomi Campbell, Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Rita Ora.

After a while in the industry, Newton was able to cherry pick the celebrities he looked after – and that included not taking on rude or badly-behaved celebrities.

"If there was anyone I was asked to look after and I thought, 'No, this isn't for me', I'd just say no," he says.

"I had a good run with everyone I looked after because I [almost] hand picked them."

Celebrity bodyguard Simon Newton

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Newton reveals one of his favourite celebrities to work with was supermodel Bella Hadid, who he says was always kind to him.

He looked after Hadid during her visits to London for a couple of years and found her to be a "normal" person.

"At the end of the day, they're all normal people. They go through the same struggles, they cry, they go to the bathroom…" Newton explains.

"Because, a lot of them weren't born with this 'celebrity'. I'd often talk to my clients in the car or back at the hotel, and quite often they were just normal."

It was Newton's time working for Hadid, 26, that saw him become a minor celebrity in his own right.

During London Fashion Week in 2017, he was dubbed the "real style star" of the annual couture event by British Vogue after photos of him escorting the former Victoria's Secret Angel were published online.

"We were papped when she was leaving the Tommy Hilfiger offices, and it got picked up by Vogue," Newton remembers.

"[Bella] actually showed me the article, and from then on it was reported on every time I was with her."

Celebrity bodyguard Simon Newton

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It was strange to suddenly be the person paps were targeting while he was doing his job.

But Newton wasn't fazed by his unlikely fame. In fact, he decided to pursue it by working in Hollywood as an actor.

"I started doing movie work in 2010, but then I decided if I wanted to pursue acting then it wasn't a good idea to be a bodyguard because I was getting more and more known," he says.

"I still own my own private security company, but I left the industry about four years ago."

Since beginning his acting career, Newton has starred in several films and TV shows including Final Score, Green Zone Thriller and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

He's seen first-hand what it is like to be a celebrity mobbed by fans and suffer the pitfalls of worldwide fame. Although, Newton isn't too worried about sacrificing his privacy for a life on the screen. 

"I'm 44 now, am I going to be as big as Tom Cruise? Probably not," he laughs.

"I never say never, but realistically, it's not something I worry about. To be one of those big celebrities like that, you need to be a Cruise or a Brad Pitt."

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Title: Celebrity bodyguard Simon Newton reveals what it's like to protect A-list clients mobbed by fans: 'We couldn't go anywhere'
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Published Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2023 00:03:00 GMT

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