The former bodyguard to Brangelina and their brood said in an interview that he practically “fathered” the children. Mark “Billy” Billingham told the Sun that he worked for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for 18 months as part of their security detail. Billingham is a former member of the United Kingdom’s elite SAS military unit. In the interview, he said, “The biggest concern for them was the kidnapping of the kids, it’s all about money. Angie and Brad are very worried about who goes near the children.”
A Guardian journalist referred to Billingham as “the sort of man I imagine Gordon Ramsey fantasises about being.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Billingham Told the Sun That he ‘Took [the Kids] Swimming, I Basically Fathered Them’
Billingham told the Sun about how comfortable Jolie and Pitt seemed with him being around their kids. He said, “It was clear from the start we had a great chemistry and they trusted me with the kids. We got very close, I was living with them all the time. I could take the kids anywhere I wanted to on my own. No one else was allowed to do that.” Billingham added that whenever he wanted to bring in additional security, those team members were not allowed close contact with the children.
He also said that he took the kids swimming and that he “fathered them, basically.” During one incident, the couple’s son, Maddox was Billingham’s sole responsibility while Jole took a UN ambassadorial trip to Iraq.
In September 2016, Jolie and Pitt announced that they were divorcing. The couple shares custody of their kids though the children live with Jolie.
2. He’s About to Host a Reality Show in the UK Where Contestants Go Through Elite Military Training
Along with three other hosts, Billingham will helm SAS: Who Dares Wins, according to a post on the website for Channel 4. The announcement says that Billingham spent, “27 years’ service with the SAS, Billy was an instructor in the jungle phase of selection and reached the rank of Sergeant Major. He received the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery and was appointed a Member of the British Empire. He has also worked in private security for several A-list Hollywood celebrities including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Kate Moss, Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe and Clint Eastwood.”
During his interview with the Sun, Billingham mentioned that he quit as Brangelina’s bodyguard because he wanted a return to his normal life. He specifically mentions not being able to spend much time with his own six kids. Billingham said, “I never had a private life. I was exhausted. I lost direction in my own family life.”
3. Billingham Was Stabbed When He Was 11 Years Old
In a Guardian piece about the type of SAS training that Billingham provides through his business, Steel Eagle Security, he says that when he was 11 years old, he was stabbed in the projects where he grew up in the West Midlands in England.
Billingham specifically teaches spotting skills and immersion. He mentions that when you immerse yourself in the jungle, eventually your body starts to smell of urine. Billingham told the Guardian, “You start to blend into your surroundings. I can smell soap on a person half a kilometre away.”
4. He’s Still an Active Reserve With the SAS & Has Led ‘Countless Hostage Rescues’
On his profile on Steel Eagle Management’s website, it says that Billingham is still active in reserve for the SAS. He joined the elite force after spending nine years as a paratrooper. It also reads:
Billy has been responsible for planning and executing strategic operations at the highest governmental level for tours in numerous worldwide locations and has lead countless hostage rescues.
In addition to his military skills, Billingham is a qualified medic and trauma specialist. On his LinkedIn page, Billingham mentions that he speaks Serbian and Croatian.
5. One of Brangelina’s Former Bodyguard’s Previously Threatened to Write a Tell-All Memoir Also Lied About Being in the SAS
The New York Daily News reported in April 2009 that Brangelina’s lawyers were planning to “attack” former bodyguard Mickey Brett. Their lawyer, Marty Singer, told the Daily News that Brett, who was planning to write a memoir, had lied about being a member of the SAS.