lunes, 15 de septiembre de 2014

PAs in the news

Personal assistants across the world have once again been hitting the headlines, so we take our regular look at what exactly they've been up to.

First up is the sad tale of comedy actor Robin Williams's suicide; once again, as is the case in many of these sorry happenings, the person to find the body was his long-time PA. Rebecca Erwin Spencer had worked with Robin for around 20 years and was considered part of the family, often travelling with him on his tours to entertain US military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Staying in the US, but on a lighter note, style bible Vanity Fair reports that Miley Cyrus has posted an Instagram photo that shows her about to etch a tattoo on her PA's leg. The PA in question is Cheyne Thomas, who was reportedly working in a Starbucks coffee shop before Cyrus took a shine to him and made him her assistant. Apparently, Cheyne has his own coterie of admirers now, with more than 150,000 followers on Instagram.

Another US star's PA who is garnering attention at present is Jennifer O'Neill, who previously sued Lady Gaga for allegedly failing to pay her overtime. In the lawsuit, which was settled out of court last year, Jennifer testified that she was forced to sleep in the same bed as the hit singer and was expected to be available to work every hour of the day.

Now the former assistant has bagged herself a lucrative deal with publisher Atria Books, said to be worth in the region of a cool $1 million (£588,235). The tome is entitled Fame Monster and promises to lift the proverbial lid on Jennifer's time with the star.

Back in Britain, R&B songstress Tulisa's PA has had to apologise for saying that Simon Cowell is gay, attempting to explain his behaviour by claiming he was “drunk” at the time. Gareth Varey, who works closely with the former X Factor judge, made claims that Cowell was lying about his sexuality in footage shown to Southwark Crown Court.

The video was filmed by undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood, who had been trying to entrap Tulisa by brokering a drugs deal, and showed Gareth saying he “knows people” who have slept with the TV music mogul. The PA subsequently issued a statement acknowledging that this wasn't true and said he was sorry for his behaviour.

It seems that scandal involving PAs isn't confined to the showbiz set: a former assistant to Prince Phillip has been charged with sexually abusing a girl while he was working for the royal family in the 1970s.

Benjamin Herman, 79, was the personal assistant, or ‘equerry’ to the 93-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth from 1971 to 1974. A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said Herman would appear in court charged with three counts of indecent assault on a girl aged around 12 that are said to have happened during this time. Herman's role was to attend to Philip's engagements and personal matters; he later became head of the household of Philip's daughter, Princess Anne.

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