EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Even Michael Jackson’s bodyguard feels unsafe in crime-infested London and avoids wearing wristwatch for fear of being mugged
He guarded the late King of Pop Michael Jackson from hordes of hysterical fans, battled against insurgents in Iraq, and fended off Somali pirates while working as a ship’s security officer in the Indian Ocean, but Simon Newton says he now feels so unsafe in crime-infested London that he avoids wearing his expensive wristwatch for fear of being mugged.
‘I don’t wear my watch as much as I used to,’ Newton tells me at an event for his fashion firm Simon Newton London. ‘I nearly had it taken off me about a month ago on the Tube.’
The film stuntman and security boss, 44, whose clients have included models Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, explains that he caught a pickpocket eyeing up his £31,000 Omega Seamaster Rose Gold Chronograph on the Underground.
‘It didn’t happen because I saw the bloke. He looked at me; I looked at him. He was right by the door of the Tube. He ran off.’
There has been a worrying increase in street crime under London’s Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, with knife attacks surging by 16 per cent in the past year.
Simon Newton (pictured) says he now feels so unsafe in crime-infested London that he avoids wearing his expensive wristwatch for fear of being mugged
The bodyguard protected the King of Pop Michael Jackson from hordes of hysterical fans. Pictured: Michael Jackson at the O2 Arena on March 5, 2009
Among those to have been targeted for their watches was former boxing champion Amir Khan, who was robbed at gunpoint of his £70,000 Franck Muller timepiece as he left a restaurant in the East End with his wife, Faryal.
Songs of Praise presenter Aled Jones was robbed of his £17,000 Rolex watch after being confronted by a machete-wielding teenager in Chiswick, West London.
He was walking with his seven-year-old son at the time of the mugging in June.
‘London’s not particularly safe anymore,’ Newton tells me, adding: ‘It’s got worse, probably in the last eight to 12 months. Crime is so bad here now that unless someone’s got hurt the police won’t come.’
He adds: ‘I used to wear my watch all the time, but I’m a little bit more selective now, just to save myself the hassle.’
Aristo animal activist jumps to Brand’s aid
Revolting Russell Brand has won some unlikely support in aristocratic circles.
The anarchic comedian, who is accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse, is the victim of a ‘smear’ campaign, according to Tracy, Marchioness of Worcester, whose son is heir to the Duke of Beaufort and his ancestral seat, Badminton House, set in 52,000 Gloucestershire acres.
Revolting Russell Brand has won some unlikely support in aristocratic circles. (Pictured: Mr Brand refuting allegations on YouTube)
‘In revenge for his invaluable work revealing information censored in the corporation-owned mainstream media, they have concocted a scam to smear Russell Brand’s brave and honest work,’ claims former actress Tracy Ward, who now campaigns against factory farming. ‘Hence, the need to find a few women who also want revenge on Russell when the consensual sex didn’t go their way.’
She adds: ‘Like with Julian Assange, anyone who is successful at challenging the deep state and its treachery, will be smeared and exposed. Rape is an old trope, and so this very serious accusation must be viewed with utmost suspicion.’
I suggest Tracy sticks to defending pigs, not sexist pigs.
Stephen Merchant once expressed regret at not having written more episodes of The Office with Ricky Gervais because he’d have ‘three Bentleys by now’. The comedian could, however, now afford a fleet of supercars.
I can disclose that the Bristol-born comic has accumulated £25.1million in earnings.
New figures for SJJM Ltd, the company into which he channels his income, reveal his huge nest egg. Its newly published accounts also report a £2.5million profit last year.
No turnover is reported and no pay disclosures are made for the three staff members reported as being employed. However, the accounts do report £15.3million in investments and £7.8million in cash, as well as £3.5million in monies due in. Merchant’s assets are offset by £1.5million in bills.
The 6ft 7in star, 48, lives in a £2.4million Los Angeles mansion with his girlfriend, Mircea Monroe, 40, the 5ft 6in American model and actress.
Lady Connery’s carnival spirit
To celebrate her 94th birthday, Lady Connery (left) enjoyed a carnival-style party with her 27-year-old granddaughter Saskia (right) in the Bahamas
Lady Connery lived in the Bahamas with the James Bond star until he died in 2020 at the age of 90. Her granddaughter Saskia is pictured during the celebrations
Her husband starred in You Only Live Twice, but Sir Sean Connery’s widow, Micheline, believes that you only live once — and she’s determined to make the most of it.
To celebrate her 94th birthday, Lady Connery enjoyed a carnival-style party with her 27-year-old granddaughter, Saskia, in the Bahamas, where she lived with the James Bond star until he died in 2020 at the age of 90.
‘This is 94,’ Saskia remarks of the Moroccan-French painter’s youthful energy.
West London restaurant Maggie Jones’s is so-called because Princess Margaret went there during her courtship with photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones.
Apparently, she would phone and say: ‘Maggie Jones here, table for two, please.’ Sadly, the restaurant won’t take bookings for anyone this year, as it has shut its doors following an electrical fire.
‘The restaurant is set to reopen in the first half of 2024, just in time to celebrate its 60th anniversary,’ a spokesman tells me.
Sir Michael sticks out at premiere
Oscar-winner Sir Michael Caine used a walking stick at the premiere of The Great Escaper at the BFI in London Wednesday night
He’s starred in more than 160 films during his illustrious career, but Sir Michael Caine’s appearance on the red carpet last night might be his last.
The Oscar-winner used a walking stick, left, at the premiere of The Great Escaper at the BFI in London.
He stars opposite Glenda Jackson, who died aged 87 in June, nine months after she finished filming.
Directed by Oliver Parker, the film is based on the true story of a World War II veteran who escapes from his care home to attend the 70th anniversary D-Day celebrations in France.
Noting how he is ‘sort of’ retired, Sir Michael says it was ‘probably’ his final film. He explains: ‘I am bloody 90 now, and I can’t walk properly and all that.’
Rock singer Joan Armatrading has sparked a row with a neighbour over plans to chop down trees at her £2 million Surrey home.
The Love And Affection hitmaker wants to axe two Scots pines and a sweet chestnut at her three-bedroom detached bungalow in Cobham, due to dieback and decay. She needs permission because the trees are protected by a preservation order and has applied to Elmbridge Borough Council for consent.
But a neighbour has objected, saying: ‘Trees not only provide amenity but are also a vital tool in the fight against climate change and the biodiversity crisis.
It is difficult to countenance removal of a healthy tree as it will be left exposed where surely other mitigations could be effected.’
Officials are expected to make a decision later this month.
Source: Read Full Article