Working as a celebrity assistant can be awesome. You get great perks and incredible access to famous stars. It’s definitely a dream job, right? Wrong. Especially after hearing these stories of celebrities who are awful to their assistants.
Celebrity assistants don’t live the glamorous lives we all think they do. Sure, they get to hang around celebs all the time, but that comes at an extreme expense. Take Lady Gaga’s assistant, for example. She claims to have slept in the same bed as the pop icon just in case Gaga needed anything in the middle of the night. Still, that’s not as bad as Taryn Manning’s assistant, who allegedly got beat up by the Orange is the New Black star. Then there’s Naomi Campbell’s assistant, who reportedly had a phone thrown at her by the supermodel. Yikes!
All of the celebrity assistant stories on this list prove that being around a star 24/7 is not what it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it might just be the thing that cracks a person. Literally. Christian Bale’s ex-assistant received treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder after splitting from the star.
So before you consider submitting your resume for a personal assistant gig, consider these stories of celebrities who are awful to their assistants. You might just reconsider.
By now everyone knows the horror that comes with working with supermodel Naomi Campbell. According to People, Campbell allegedly threw a phone at her assistant in 2001. The assistant also claimed that the model “grabbed her by the arms and threw her down on a couch.” In February 2000, Campbell pleaded guilty to a separate assault charge for beating an assistant.
UPDATE: In September 2016, Campbell faced more legal trouble after allegedly assaulting a “former public schoolboy” (a posh young lad) with a phone, leaving a bruise on his face. The unnamed young man, who works for a PR firm and was hired to help rehabilitate Campbell’s public image, was visiting her in a hotel in Manhattan when a scuffle broke out.
Everyone has a different version of what happened so it’s impossible to really know what went down. Campbell was apparently recovering from surgery at the time of the incident, casting a pall of doubt over whether she was capable of assaulting anyone. It’s worth noting Lord Bell, founder of the PR firm working with Campbell, called Campbell “the most unpleasant fashion model in the world.” That’s coming from a man who previously worked with the notorious tyrant Margaret Thatcher!
As reported by the New York Daily News, actress Taryn Manning faced misdemeanor assault charges after punching and choking her personal assistant, Holliann Hartman. According to Manning’s lawyer, “They had a late-night argument that turned into a bit of a physical altercation.”
Apparently, “the two had been working long hours together” when the actress attacked her. Hartman later decided to not pursue the case.
Jessica Labrie, Courtney Love’s personal assistant, sued the songstress. According to Rolling Stone, Labrie claimed the singer “acted with an improper and evil motive amounting to malice or despicable conduct.” Labrie allegedly “worked over 60-hour weeks without overtime pay, was forced to send false legal correspondence,” and “was asked to hire a computer hacker.”
Additionally, Love promised to cover Labrie’s Yale tuition, but reportedly never paid up.
In 2013 Lady Gaga’s assistant, Jennifer O’Neill, brought a lawsuit against the “Poker Face” singer for unpaid overtime wages. In court documents, O’Neill said she was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and that the two “frequently slept in the same bed because O’Neill never had her own hotel room while on tour and was required to address Lady Gaga’s needs throughout the night.”
Everyone knows J. Lo is the ultimate diva – but apparently, it goes even further than we thought. According to HuffPost UK, “the singer has reportedly banned staff working on her new home from talking to or making eye contact with her.”
And according to Gawker, she gave these requirements for a new assistant: “The person has to be graceful under pressure, have thick skin, and be resourceful in foreign countries. You’ll be on call 24/7… You have to change diapers, work on little sleep, and cook if the butler is away. You have to know when J. Lo has her snack time. She won’t say she’s hungry, and you’re expected to have food waiting.”
Shortly after becoming Lance Armstrong’s personal assistant, Mike Anderson allegedly stumbled upon a box in Armstrong’s bathroom labeled “Androstenedione” (that’s a banned steroid). The box soon disappeared. As time went on, Anderson started to feel more uncomfortable about things with Armstrong. That’s when, as Anderson describes in a story for Outside, Armstrong fired him. Anderson was asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement “that would have made me liable for a large sum of money if I even mentioned ever having worked for Armstrong.”
Anderson refused, and soon after faced lawsuits and public scrutiny. This was before the truth came out about Armstrong’s doping. He was painted by Armstrong’s lawyers as a “disgruntled schemer” and essentially had to move to New Zealand to pursue his dreams of opening his own bike shop.
According to Perez Hilton, Lindsay Lohan kicked her personal assistant Gavin Doyle out of a car right after he bailed her out of jail. Gawker reported that she also tried to pin a car accident on Doyle earlier in the day.
She told police he had been driving it when it crashed.
Sharon Stone is known for the terrible way she treats her staff. According to court documents obtained by Radar, doctors ordered Angelica Castillo, one of Stone’s former employees, to “undertake a brief period of bed rest,” but “Stone denied Castillo’s request for a brief period of bed rest, and told her that she would have to come in to work that day.”
When Castillo mentioned that she was still in pain four months later, the actress allegedly called her “crazy and stupid.”
According to a source on the set of 27 Dresses, “Heigl reportedly refused to film any scenes until her pregnant assistant ran around and got her a Coke Zero. She refused to eat lunch next to anyone or have anyone speak to her once the cameras stopped rolling.”
Apparently, her difficult behavior has earned her a bad reputation with actors and directors alike.
Harrison Cheung was Christian Bale’s personal assistant for over a decade and also wrote the biography Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman. He recalls:
If Christian was away filming on location, I would take care of his five pets, along with stray possums in the backyard as a special request. I would do anything from sniffing Christian’s armpits for B.O. right before he hit the red carpet to making emergency sock runs if Christian was all out of clean ones. Sometimes duties were as exciting as traveling to film festivals and as dull as watching Christian surf in case something needed to be done onshore.
Cheung told the Daily Mail, “My therapist would describe my condition as post-traumatic stress disorder.”
According to the Daily Mail, Martha Stewart is known to randomly send her personal assistants (she has nine to choose from) to India just to buy fabric. When a former executive for her company suggested that having so many assistants was a little excessive, they reportedly almost lost their job.
This sounds pretty awful. Imagine having to watch your boss give birth in a bathtub. That’s exactly what Ricki Lake’s assistant had to do. As Lake told New York Magazine, “To this day my assistant talks about how she had to clean up my bathtub afterward.”
As The Urban Daily reported, following a 2011 performance, Keri Hilson “was screaming at her assistant for ‘not being able to do anything right.’ [She] railed that the assistant also forgot to ‘pack her eye drops and throat spray.’ ”
Anna Wintour is known for both her fashion knowledge and her ability to completely ruin the lives of her personal assistants – as was famously documented by Lauren Weisberger, author of the 2003 novel The Devil Wears Prada.
In the lead-up to writing the book, Weisberger “had just left her job after 11 months as an assistant to American Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who possesses such a frosty leadership style she is known as Nuclear Wintour.”
Paris Hilton can apparently only handle lifting a purse and a tiny dog. The Daily Mail described one particularly telling Paris sighting: “Looking polished in a pretty chiffon tea dress and coordinating cream handbag and heels, Paris strolled from car to studio – while her companion emerged from the same vehicle laden with bags and Halloween costumes.”
Queen Bey has been known to shut down her assistants on the red carpet. As reported by Us Weekly, while the star was posing for photographers at an event, her assistant was trying to fix her outfit.
In a subtle but telling exchange, “The superstar looks over, grins, and casually tells her assistant to ‘stop it’ as she resumes posing on the red carpet. The assistant immediately stops, scurries over to the side, and allows Beyonce to continue reveling in her spotlight.”
Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Cheryl Hines actually admitted to The Wrap that she had her assistant clean out her pets’ cages after she got a bunch of animals for her daughter. “I had to ask my assistant to clean out every cage,” she admitted. “By the way, it’s not easy to handle a hedgehog. They are prickly and there’s a lot of poop involved. Maybe if I wasn’t working I’d do it but I don’t think so. I’d rather work at [7-Eleven] and hire someone to clean hedgehog poop. This is the town where you can do that. I wouldn’t say I ever regretted [it] but it certainly came with a lot of apologies.”
Apparently, Lena Dunham’s assistant has to feed her. This photo from the Daily Mail shows the Girls star munching on a “calorific quesadilla.”
Okay, Jillian Michaels isn’t awful, but she will slam your car if it’s dirty. On her reality show Just Jillian, Michaels admits: “One of the perks of having an assistant [is] that you have a chauffeur, right?” However, she then goes on to trash her assistant’s car.
“You can work in the car. Someone else drives, you don’t have to worry about anything. But today I don’t have my car, we only have Nichole’s sh*tbox,” she joked.