PROTECT AND SWERVE | EW.com

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PROTECT AND SWERVE

WHITNEY HOUSTON'S REAL-LIFE BODYGUARD

Maybe he’s no Kevin Costner. But much like the pop-star guardian angel Costner portrays in The Bodyguard, Whitney Houston’s own security chief has surely seen his share of screen-style danger. David Roberts, 40, a former member of the Metropolitan Police of New Scotland Yard, has been Houston’s ”personal protection executive” since 1988. ”When people call me a bodyguard,” he says, ”I acquiesce, because to explain what I do takes too long. It becomes frustrating.” Characterizing his profession as a science, he says, ”We all are bullet catchers. The science is deciding where the bullets are coming from.” Here, he shares a couple of his experiences in protecting Houston from every kind of threat: *”A guy in Australia used to send all sorts of things through the post: his socks, his underwear. He also sent a letter saying, ‘I know you’re appearing in Sydney on such and such a date. When you sing such and such a song and get to such and such a line, I’m going to get up on stage and take us up to the astral plane, which has been prepared for us by my mother. Oh, by the way, I’m sitting in row A, seat 8’-or whatever. When he arrived he was surrounded by police watching him. He didn’t move all during the performance, didn’t even clap-just stood up at the end and walked out.” *”Another turned up in Vancouver-he’d written a letter that day and had it hand-delivered: ‘I’m desperate to see you, and I’ve taken my mushrooms.’ He had a front-row seat, and there was this creature with eyes like Marty Feldman, clearly out of his head. And he started to mumble about Satan and take his clothes off. I tapped one of the local security people on his shoulder, and he approached the guy and said put your shoes and socks back on, and the guy put his shoes and socks back on. Then later, he started undressing again. People sitting next to him were scared. He turned out to be a mental patient on release.”