A PA has provided an exclusive look at what it’s like to work for some of the world’s best known celebrities.
His famous employers include Michael Stipe (REM), Ru Paul and Mickey Rourke and his work took him to exotic destinations and led to some pretty bizarre encounters and requests.
Sutherland outlines how a common responsibility of PAs is to deal with their bosses’ drug requests – legal or otherwise:
PAs [have] to pick up drugs, hold them, ration them out, and wipe celebrity noses as they emerge from restrooms, powdery-white round the nostrils.
Pills are staples of celebrity life. The PA will often hold them. And then wonder whether they should dispense so many.
Pusher, peddler, pimp, human pillbox. They don’t put that in the job description.
Sutherland says that a major part – and one of the least glamorous – parts of the job the ‘humble domestic stuff’:
Washing underwear with special soaps in bathroom basins (room service, even five-star, isn’t fast enough for one-nighters), when all you’re desperate for is a few hours’ sleep before you get up (early).
However, one of the most interesting revelations the book makes is how much celebrities hate the word ‘no’:
They’re frightened to death of hearing that little word. ‘No’ would mean 1) they haven’t yet quite made it to the very top of the slippery pole, or 2) they’re on the way down.
When Beyoncé, or whoever, demands the dressing room be repainted in puce (no, hold that, lilac), and orchids flown in from the Tibetan foothills, they want proof they are all-powerful. Still masters/mistresses of the universe.
He says that what celebrities fear the most is the day the world stops obeying their outrageous commands, so the last thing a PA can say to their boss is ‘no’.
As well as that, the job is way less glamorous than people on the outside imagine. Sutherland says:
Most of the time you’re an overpaid, two-legged alarm clock, tea-maker, trouser-presser, door-opener, UPS guy, cigarette-fetcher.
[You’re the] first up, last to bed. First to the door, at the end of the entourage. It’s wearing. But you, unlike the boss, can never be grouchy.
Still, some of the stuff you get to see – not to mention the stories – must be unbelievable.
Jack Sutherland’s book Stars, Cars and Crystal Meth is out on 17th March.