Oprah Winfrey’s Bodyguards

IN THE NEWS – In what’s already been a rough week image wise for the bodyguard industry, Britney Spears ex-bodyguard breaches client confidentiality, and then Madonna’s ex-bodyguard jailed for smuggling guns into the UK.

Now it seems that three of Oprah Winfrey’s bodyguards were detained by Indian police after a scuffle with local TV journalists.

The incident occurred while the internationally acclaimed TV host was shooting for her show ‘Next Chapter’ while visiting the Hindu pilgrimage town of Mathura, about 90 miles south of Delhi, Indian police briefly detained three of Oprah’s bodyguards after they scuffled with local TV journalists. No one was reported hurt.

The three bodyguards were released after apologizing in a letter to the journalists.

Today, she visited the Taj Mahal and on Friday, she plans to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival, reports AP.


  • Sherman Gordon

    rough week indeed. I’m not a going to rip these guys because I wasn’t there, but in regard to Britney Spears and Madonna bodyguards. You reap what you sow!

  • http://www.code3protections.com Godrej R Rustumji

    Dealing within India, Indians and their sentiments is not something every foreign national knows or understands. That is why it is very important that ever security detail that comes down here Liaison’s with a company that specialized in Executive Protection, in its true sense.

    Unfortunately today, the security industry in India, is all about numbers. People have no training what so ever, and companies just hire muscle for ops. That is why, working with a company that understands the ropes, can actually plan and understand the nuances of what is required is what companies should look for. Oprah’s case is not the first in India, and I am guessing, wont be the last.

    Godrej R Rustumji
    Founder and CEO
    Code3 Protections Private Limited.

  • http://epgsecuritygroup.com Don Moe

    It is very important when traveling internationally to take the time to study the cultural norms and customs of your locality. Also, if you are a small detail (1-2) it is advisable to hire a local security service provider as your driver, interpreter and logistical support.

    It is important to play nice when in another country, the last thing an operator needs is to be sitting in jail attempting to explain there actions while thier protectee is w/o service and facing a potetnially embarressing situation.

  • http://www.austinscg.com Hucky

    Godrej and Don, thanks for your contributions. You both make some very solid points.

  • Alonzo Gomez

    All strong comments above.

    There’s a Japanese saying that goes, “to see the center, you have to walk away from it”, and I’ve probably been in the middle too long myself to have perspective on this anymore. I’ll have to go do something else for a while before I can muster any type of sympathy for anybody calling themselves journalist or photographer, euphemisms for sneaky and nosy pest, as far as I’m concerned.

    As professionals, we should always be in control, period. Easier said than done when you’ve experienced first hand the lying vultures. I know that the pap who recently jumped out of bushes from behind me, crouching while snapping away behind his ridiculously long lens, saying “I just want a shot of your gun” has no idea how close he was to become instant news himself.

  • Freddie Oosthuizen

    Hi Harlan
    It’s a pitty that the indian media can’t even get their own story correct.
    The 3 arrested were not part of OW’s CP team but, local security hired for crowd control. The incident was sparked by indian media allegedly aggresively swearing at the security when politely asked to give space.
    So much for media freedom when only half the news gets the storyline.

    Posted by Freddie Oosthuizen

  • Vince Jackson

    I couldn’t agree more with you Don. I was thnking the same thing as I was reading. It seems to me that with a person of Ms. Winfrey’s status there should have been a local team, or interpreters at a minimum to make sure the language barrier was taken care of. I also think that Godrej would have been a prime candidate for what Don commented on as well. It is hard to say who was right or wrong since we were not there, but I would bet a dollar to a dime it would have turned out differently if a local team had been there as a buffer who knows the customs.

  • billy

    The incident with OW or any client starts with WWWW&H.
    My experience tells me the protocols of establishing
    a command where all elements are included. That means
    dealing with the medaia.
    Establishing a site for the media may have avoided the above.

  • Amrit Raj Paswan

    I am totally agreed with billy, main thing is that on this type of news media will only write their own points that what a security personal or Bodyguards have did with them and it will be right also because they got the evidence in their cameras but they will never write or saw why it was happened and we also cant prove it as we don’t have any evidence…..and everything matters according to the protocol.
    Freddie sir, i was the part of OW CP team and one of them among of those 3 to write the apologize letter to media and its very true that half of the news got story-line.
    Godrej sir, i am also agreed with you but the thing is that in India no one respect the right value of security personal or a Bodyguard…..

    Freelancer EPO & Contractor for NSA in India.