As BBC’s Bodyguard captures the nation, we reveal the real-life women besotted with the bodyguard
Trump’s temptress and Diana’s secret love? The real-life bodyguards who went beyond the call of duty in stories that may have inspired BBC’s risqué new drama
It’s certainly become compulsive Sunday night viewing. Part political thriller, part female fantasy, the BBC1 drama Bodyguard centres on a passionate affair between a female Home Secretary, played by Keeley Hawes, and the handsome-but-troubled close protection officer who’s assigned to guard her — new heart-throb on the block Richard Madden.
The plot may sound fantastical, but there’s no doubt that it’s steamy stuff — the most recent episode included a nude scene that revealed more of Madden than of Hawes.
Here, Natalie Clarke reveals the stories of the real-life bodyguards who also went beyond the call of duty . . .
Part political thriller, part female fantasy, the BBC1 drama Bodyguard centres on a passionate affair between a female Home Secretary and the handsome-but-troubled close protection officer who’s assigned to guard her
Back in 1996, Donald Trump’s second wife, Marla Maples, found herself at the centre of intrigue regarding her relationship with her husband’s bodyguard, Spencer Wagner.
According to Wagner’s former wife, Mary Miller, he found Ms Maples (pictured right, with Spencer) a bit too hot to handle.
‘She just loved to party a lot,’ said Mrs Miller. ‘He said she would try to pull him into a bedroom in the house.’
At 4am on April 16, 1996, a police officer was patrolling a beach near Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida when he found Wagner, then 34, ‘hiding under a lifeguard stand’, the New York Daily News reported that year.
According to another report, in the National Enquirer, Wagner claimed he was there alone, until Maples, then 33, emerged from under the stand wearing ‘tight, black spandex leggings and a skimpy jogging top’.
Maples denied anything untoward, reportedly claiming she had to take a ‘bathroom break’; Wagner also denied claims of an affair.
Four months later, he was fired. Trump and Maples split the following year and divorced in 1999. Wagner died in 2012 of a drug overdose.
Bodyguard’s Richard Madden bares his bum and Keeley Hawes…
The BBC’s Bodyguard wins Sunday night’s ratings battle as it…
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Back in 1996, Donald Trump’s second wife, Marla Maples, found herself at the centre of intrigue regarding her relationship with her husband’s bodyguard, Spencer Wagner (pictured together at Central Park Zoo in New York with her daughter Tiffany)
Princess Diana’s secret love?
There were many men in the Princess’s life, but she was to claim, in recordings made with Peter Settelen, her voice coach, between 1992 and 1993, that there was one man she was ‘deeply in love with’.
Diana did not name him, but there were rumours she was talking about ex-police bodyguard Barry Mannakee.
Mannakee was Diana’s bodyguard for a year or so in the Eighties. ‘When I was 24 or 25, I fell deeply in love with someone who worked in this environment [security],’ she said. ‘But he was chucked out and killed.’
Diana made the explosive claim he was ‘bumped off’.
What did happen? The 39-year-old died in 1987 as the pillion passenger on the motorbike of a friend who survived. The bike collided with a car, whose driver was fined £85 for careless driving and a coroner ruled it was an accident.
But conspiracy theorists continue to believe Diana — who ten years later, of course, met the same fate — was right.
Pictured: Princess Diana and Barry Mannakee at a wedding
A (brief) happy ending
Princess Stephanie’s childhood may have started in fairy tale fashion, growing up as she did in the Palais de Monaco.
But tragedy struck in 1982 when her mother, Grace Kelly, died as a result of a car accident with Stephanie, then 17, beside her. Stephanie became a ‘royal rebel’ and, after a string of doomed romances, began a relationship with her bodyguard, Daniel Ducruet, whose ex-girlfriend was six months pregnant with his child.
Prince Rainier, Stephanie’s father, disapproved and the rift deepened when the Princess announced she was pregnant. After she had given birth to Louis, in 1992, and a second child, Pauline, in 1994, father and daughter were reconciled and Daniel and Stephanie married in 1995. But in 1996, Mr Ducruet was found in a compromising situation with a former ‘Miss Bare Breasts of Belgium’ and the couple subsequently divorced.
Stephanie became a ‘royal rebel’ after the death of her mother Grace Kelly and, after a string of doomed romances, began a relationship with her bodyguard, Daniel Ducruet, whose ex-girlfriend was six months pregnant with his child (pictured together in 1995)
Revenge is sweet
What better way to get revenge on a cheating husband than to sleep with his bodyguard?
That was Eleanor Roosevelt’s tactic after discovering, in 1918, that her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt had been having an affair with Lucy Mercer, her much younger secretary, for more than six years.
From then on, it was a marriage in name only.
In 1928, when her husband stepped up his political ambitions as Governor of New York, Eleanor was assigned a bodyguard, Earl Miller (left, with Eleanor). She reputedly took revenge for her husband’s infidelity by becoming his lover.
She wrote about the ‘divine warmth’ she felt in his arms.
However, Miller was to be replaced in the First Lady’s affections by a woman, Lorena Hickok, a journalist with whom she fell madly in love.
By the time her husband had been sworn in as President in 1933, they were lovers. The depth of their romance was revealed in more than 3,000 letters they exchanged, which surfaced in the Nineties.
Pictured: Eleanor Roosevelet and Earl Miller at Chazy Lake in New York in 1934
Too close for comfort
Jed Mercurio, creator of the BBC’s gripping new drama, must have had a field day researching the characters for Bodyguard.
The plot has echoes of a real-life drama that had serious political ramifications in 2010 when it was revealed the wife of Home Secretary Alan Johnson had been having an affair with his bodyguard, Paul Rice.
The illicit affair of Laura Johnsonwith the Scotland Yard close protection officer assigned to Johnson lasted between June 2009 and May 2010. It was later alleged Rice was also having an affair with Johnson’s constituency assistant, Tracy Windle, 50, at the same time. Rice had been assigned to protect Johnson after his own marriage broke down and he later divorced wife Michelle with whom he has a son.
The affair was exposed in 2011 when Johnson resigned, citing ‘personal issues in my private life’. That November Rice, then 45, was sacked after a two-day misconduct hearing. Ex-postman Johnson and his wife, who had been married for nearly 20 years, later divorced. In December 2015, Johnson married Carolyn Burgess, his partner of four years.
The plot has echoes of a real-life drama that had serious political ramifications in 2010 when it was revealed the wife of Home Secretary Alan Johnson (right) had been having an affair with his bodyguard, Paul Rice
The affair was exposed in 2011 when Johnson, pictured, resigned, citing ‘personal issues in my private life’.
A holiday romance?
German model Heidi Klum and singer Seal seemed to be one of the more stable celebrity marriages and they had children. So their separation in January 2012 was a shock. What went wrong?
It was Seal (inset, with Heidi) who provided an insight, after pictures emerged of Heidi looking cosy with bodyguard Martin Kirsten in Sardinia that September.
Seal said: ‘While I didn’t expect any better from him, I would have thought Heidi would have shown a little more class and at least waited until we separated first before deciding to fornicate with the help.
‘But I guess you all now have the answer you’ve been looking for the past seven months.’
Seal later clarified his comments to claim Heidi began the affair ‘before the divorce was final’. She denied having an affair while still with Seal. She split from Kirsten (left with Heidi) in 2014. Now 45, she is dating toyboy Tom Kaulitz, 28.
It was Seal (right with Heidi) who provided an insight, after pictures emerged of Heidi looking cosy with bodyguard Martin Kirsten (left) in Sardinia that September
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