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'Bodyguard to the stars': the man helping Jeff Bezos fight the Enquirer

Guardian Technology 12 Feb 2019 05:27
Gavin de Becker speaks at a memorial for Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The National Enquirer has his sexts and, it appears, saucy photos. His imminent divorce is the talk of Wall Street.

So Jeff Bezos, the Amazon boss, announced on Friday that he had turned to a singular figure for help – a “bodyguard to the stars” and Los Angeles-based security consultant named Gavin de Becker.

Bezos and his longtime wife, MacKenzie, are divorcing and the National Enquirer has revealed his extramarital affair with the television personality Lauren Sánchez. Writing on the website Medium, Bezos said the publisher of the National Enquirer had threatened to publish sexual photos he and Sanchez shared if he did not call off De Becker, whom Bezos described as an acquaintance of 20 years. De Becker, Bezos said, is still on the job with instructions “to proceed with whatever budget he needed to pursue the facts” related to the Enquirer’s possession of his communications.

De Becker & Associates, the 64-year-old’s firm, provides security and, as in Bezos’s case, conducts private investigations for the rich, the powerful and the famous. He has been romantically linked to stars – he dated Geena Davis and Alanis Morissette – and was a guest on Oprah. He and his employees are frequent foes of the tabloid press.

“His concern was that Hollywood was full of thug-like bodyguards, with various backgrounds in the martial arts or the military or professional wrestling,” Dietz told the Guardian. “He wanted to try to professionalize an industry that was not well-regarded. And he was a leader in that.”

De Becker, Dietz said, moved with the glad-handing charm of a successful sports agent. “He knew every aspect of the world of celebrity, and had a real commitment to trying to protect them against people who would do them harm,” Dietz said.

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