Providing executive protection for Lindsay Lohan, Brad Pitt, Mel Gobson and other Hollywood stars

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk this past while about Hollywood stars hiring ex-Israeli Commandos to protect them. Reporters are calling it “the latest craze”.

As a security professional, I am always suspect about anything that can be described as a “craze” or a “fad”. Executive Protection or Personal Protection is not a new phenomenon. Unfortunately, Hollywood celebrities have not always proved to be the best judges in the past when it comes to deciding who to pick for their personal protection.

Many of Hollywood’s leading stars have had (and some still do) big burly guys with names like “Tiny” and “Big Mo”. Astute corporate executives on the other hand, realize the importance of hiring intelligent agents who can make split-second decisions and assist with the planning of the client’s itinerary.

Hollywood clients beware; not every Israeli soldier belonged to a crack counter-terrorism unit. As a security employer, I am all too aware of how the truth very often gets stretched. It is not difficult for a truck driver to turn into a special forces commando merely by traveling to a new location.

Caveat Emptor; even those who are assigned to apecialized units need to have their credentials checked. This article from an Israeli publication highlights the fact that one of the Israeli bodyguards who “protected” Prime Minister Rabin on the night he was assasinated in 1995, is now the senior Israeli in charge of the security detail that will be protecting President Bush when he travels over there next month.

Maybe Hollywood needs to think less about muscle and hype and rely on U.S. companies who hire professionals with Secret Service and Diplomatic Security Service experience and whose backgrounds can be easily verified.

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  1. Bruce says:

    Great post John and spot on. Hiring security by the pound (and I don’t mean the Pound Sterling) never works.
    Your other comment about Israeli “commandos” etc…is very relevant. We’ve seen the video clip of Ms. Lohan’s so called “Israeli BG”. From a professional standpoint, someone who leaves their principal unprotected, sitting in a vehicle, to settle a confrontation with a photographer leaves much to be desired. He did as much damage to her image as someone out of control as she does to herself.
    Anyway, well done.

    Bruce Alexander

  2. Elijah Shaw says:

    Thank you for your assessment of the situation and some valid points raised. At the end of the day you can be from anywhere in the world, any shape, size, color, or military affiliation– what’s going to qualify (or disqualify) you is how well you know the craft of executive protection.

    Elijah Shaw, CEO
    Icon Services Corporation

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