Former celebrity bodyguard Simon Newton has protected A-list stars like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid throughout his career, and while he has an impressive track record, the private security company owner recalls a “nightmare” situation while working with Bella during an exclusive video interview with In Touch.
“There was a ‘Free Palestine’ protest just around the corner from where we were and Bella wanted to join it for a few – I don’t know how long for, but I didn’t want her to join it at all, obviously,” he explains. “It was a bit of a nightmare for me.”
Simon, 44, who worked with the supermodel from 2015 until 2016, reveals he was the only security guard on duty at the time and had no assistance if things went south at the protest. However, he agreed and allowed Bella to be a part of the demonstration.
“I said, ‘Look, we’ll do it, but we get out the car, we’ll walk with the people for no more than two or three minutes and we get back in the car,’” he recalls. “To be fair, she did everything I asked her to. She listened, so it wasn’t that bad, but getting out into the middle of the protest, particularly when they’re an A-list celebrity, it’s not everybody’s dream thing to do really.”
Although he no longer works as a celebrity security guard, the Crossfire actor also worked with the 818 Tequila founder and star of Hulu’s The Kardashians, Kendall Jenner, 26. As he’s based in Great Britain, Newton mainly worked with the models during London and Paris Fashion Weeks as well as at promotional events.
Simon has additionally worked with Halsey, Gigi Hadid, Naomi Campbell and Michael Jackson during his career, noting that the late “King of Pop” was the hardest to protect. While he never experienced life-threatening situations, the Sherlock Holmes actor claims Michael’s fan base was “bigger than anyone will ever come across again.”
“There was a threat of people grabbing hold of him all the time or pulling him around if we didn’t keep the area secure,” Simon explains. “So, there was quite a threat anytime we left the hotel with him.”
While Simon‘s career positioned him between the public and the famous among us, he always kept his composure and never succumbed to violence on the job. Being overly aggressive in response to eager fans wasn’t his style, as he believes an altercation would have made his profession more “difficult.” Simon’s success on the job came down to strategic organization, explaining to In Touch that the security of a star was contingent on his ability to plan ahead.
“It could be up to the public to decide whether I was too hard or did too little. So, I don’t even want to get anywhere near those situations. I used to plan everything as well as I could in terms of going between venues, drop off and pick up points. And we weren’t out on the street any longer than we had to be in a lot of places,” he explains.
Although Simon found professional success as a celebrity bodyguard, he left the demanding role to pursue a career in acting. He made his debut in 2010 when he played the role of a U.S. Special Forces soldier in The Green Zone starring Matt Damon.
Finding new professional thrill as an actor, Simon enrolled in acting school in hopes of taking on leading roles. As he said hello to a new career, he had to make the decision to say goodbye to another in 2018. Telling In Touch that he wouldn’t want to jeopardize the safety of a client, Simon explains of his decision to leave the protective line of work, “I decided to … put everything into acting.”