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Dangerous minds: for celebrity assistants, stalkers are an occupational hazard.

As a personal assistant, I have experienced several types of celebrity stalker. First there is the potentially violent kind that must be taken seriously. I worked for one actor whose stalker became so threatening that he and his family had to move and buy new cars to evade him. There are also "test" stalkers, whose goal is to see how close they can get to an A-list celebrity. Then there are the "cheap-thrill-seekers" who spot celebrities driving and follow them around, hoping to find out where they live. One boss of mine sometimes had to drive around for hours to lose his overly curious fans.


When I worked for the actor who had had a stalker, few deliveries were allowed to come to his house. The phones were forwarded from another location so the true phone numbers could not be traced to the home address. I was told to be extra careful about discussing travel information because airline employees tend to leak celebrity flight times. This is why so many celebrities are accosted by paparazzi at airports.

Months went by uneventfully, until I saw a Department of Water and Power vehicle approach the front-gate monitor. The visitor identified himself as a worker from Water and Power and said he was there to read the meter. I asked him whether he had an appointment. He told me it was not standard to make appointments and that he could come back another time. I hesitated for a moment, decided I was being paranoid, and buzzed him in.

I ran to the driveway to greet him. The vehicle approached, but the man would not make eye contact with me. He drove right past me, then turned around and drove back down the driveway. He had accomplished his goal of getting through the gate but apparently had not expected to have an escort. For days I was afraid to let the gardeners in. Did they wear green uniforms last week?

The most infamous stalkers are the emotionally disturbed. Unfortunately, they have a problem separating fantasy from reality. On my first day working for an older actress, she showed me the mug shot of her stalker, which she kept on her refrigerator. He had been institutionalized but had escaped and found her house. He had stood in her driveway and begged to see her. He was quickly arrested and brought back to the hospital. My boss casually told me that if I saw him, I should call 911.

I have a thing for big houses. I also have a thing for big houses that become spooky at night, and I definitely have a thing for big spooky houses that are in the Rolodexes of stalkers. Weeks later, I was working late, and the house was empty. I passed the mug shot on my way to the kitchen. The stalker's vacant eyes stared back at me, and my mind started going to the dark side. My biggest fear was that he would enter, mistake me for my boss and kill me instead--or just kill me anyway, since he went to all the effort to sneak out of the asylum, steal a car, buy a gun, and find parking. It would be disappointing after all that for him to leave with nothing. After an hour of jumping at every noise I heard, my boss finally came home. I picked up my handbag, said goodnight, and ran out as if my shoes were on fire.

Another rule in assisting: Paranoia is contagious. Do not spread it.

MANDIE GREEN has several years of experience working as a personal assistant in Hollywood and knows all the ins and outs of personal assisting. Her tips and stories about her life are a must-read.
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Title Annotation:PA JOURNAL
Author:Green, Mandie
Publication:Celeb Staff Magazine
Date:May 1, 2008
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