Kanye West’s Ex-Bodyguard Has Revealed The Bizarre Rules That The Star Insists On

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With over a billion dollars, a string of rap hits and a hugely successful fashion line all to his name, it’s safe to suggest that Kanye West works hard. In fact, it seems that that he sets almost impossibly high standards for himself. On top of that, though, a former employee has revealed that some of the requests that West makes to his staff are off the scale, too.

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West, by all accounts, is a man who demands the best. For example, while most parents of four young children might decide to approach home improvements with an emphasis on ease of replaceability and repair, the rapper seems to be of a different mindset. For him, nothing but luxury will do.

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When West recently renovated his $60 million dollar mansion, he chose Belgian plaster for the flooring. Although this no doubt gives a beautiful minimal finish to his all-white abode, it’s not the most forgiving surface. In fact, it requires plasterers to be specifically transported over from Europe to fix it up when it becomes damaged.

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So far, so showbiz. But West has quirks that extend beyond expensive home improvements. Indeed, he recently spent time arguing with Forbes magazine about whether or not his Yeezy clothing line has made him a billionaire or not. And the rapper has also set up a religious musical group known as the Sunday Service Choir.

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West’s family life, of course, is far from ordinary. He’s recently celebrated his sixth wedding anniversary to reality TV phenomenon Kim Kardashian. As we’ve mentioned, they’re parents to four kids – North, Chicago, Psalm and Saint. His famous relatives, of course, include sisters-in-law Kylie and Kendall Jenner and mom-in-law Kris Jenner.

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Sadly, the star’s own mom Donda West died after complications following cosmetic surgery. The star was devastated by his mom’s passing, as the two were very close. His parents had split up when he was very young, and he’d moved with his mom to live in Chicago, where he grew up.

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Despite his present wealth, the star has previously declared himself to be millions in debt when he was setting up his fashion line. Admitting his losses, however, never detracted West fulfilling his dreams. The rapper is blessed with a self-confidence rare even in the celebrity world. He credits his mom for instilling this belief in himself.

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Speaking with Jimmy Kimmel, West has said, “I refuse to follow those rules that society has set up, in the way that they control people with low self-esteem.” And in another interview with BBC Radio 1, the star declared, “[People] are slowed down by their perception of themselves… I was taught I could do everything.”

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This confidence has served West well in his musical career and with making a fortune from his Yeezy fashion line, which is a collaboration with Adidas. We’ve even seen how his self-belief has won him a beautiful wife and family. But it might inevitably have put some people’s noses out of joint along the way.

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Take his former bodyguard Steve Stanulis, who is a fascinating individual in his own right. At the age of 18, he had started performing at dance revues, according to the Amazon editorial review of his book Sex and the Shield. The following year, he joined the NYPD, while still putting on shows in the evening.

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Stanulis – working under the stage name Steve Savage – set up a dance ensemble called Savage Men. Having quit the police department, he then became a bodyguard to the stars. According to the Amazon blurb, “This access along with his real guy charm and movie star good looks led to many nights when he was every bit the naughty reveler as were his high-profile clients.”

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Perhaps this past didn’t bode well for Stanulis’ stint working as security consultant for the rapper and his wife. But more of that later. As well as his successful dance act, Stanulis himself took on bit-part acting roles. He cropped up in The Sopranos, as well as movies like Cupidity and the 2013 horror Darkroom.

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Stanulis worked behind the camera, too. In 2009 he co-produced the black comedy The Invisible Life of Thomas Lynch, a movie in which he took on the main role of Lynch. His performance was well received, and he was even nominated for a Best Actor award at the CMJ Film Festival.

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With his experience as a stripper, Stanulis was also the mastermind behind Stripped: The Play. At the beginning of this production, the compère announces that the play is one where “men are men and women are happy.” It was voted best off-Broadway play by The New York Times, and even reached Las Vegas the following year.

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Earlier in 2020 Stanulis released the performance piece again. And it seems that he wants the play to appeal to a wider audience than just bachelorette shindigs. The publicity material, for example, states, “The cast’s removal of clothing is also used as a metaphor for baring their souls and exploring the dark side of their daily lives.”

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This brings us to Stanulis’ dealings with West. Hired as a bodyguard to protect West, his famous spouse and their four kids, the former cop has characterized the experience in something of an unfavorable light. The rapper, it seems, has a very specific way that he likes things to be done.

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In fact, Stanulis told the Hollywood Raw podcast recently that West was one of his “least favorite people to work with.” And when we run through his dealings with the billionaire, we can perhaps see why. First up, there was an awkward exchange in an elevator during New York Fashion Week in 2016.

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As the former cop explained, “The first day I met him… it was Fashion Week. I was supposed to meet him at the studio. When he gets there, we get into the elevator and he says, ‘Aren’t you going to push what floor we are going to?’ I was like, ‘I have no idea what floor, it’s my first day.’”

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West, it seems was unhappy with this response. According to Stanulis, “So he’s ranting and raving. So I said, ‘Look, bro, we can do this one of three ways. One, you could tell me what button to press, and now I’ll know. Two, you could press the button, and I’ll see which one you press so I’ll know.’”

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Stanulis went on, “‘Or three, you can sit in here all day and tell me how important your time is and we are not going to go anywhere.’ Again, that was our first interaction. He went for the first option.” Unfortunately, after this initial encounter, the relationship didn’t progress much from there.

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Stanulis now describes West as “the most self-absorbed person” he’s met. The former cop has accused the star of not even offering his security so much as some water while he ate out at expensive establishments. “I don’t think he ever said two words to me,” he told the Daily Mail.

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Stanulis continued, “I would go to a restaurant with him and watch him to make sure nobody was bothering him. Not once was I offered a glass of water or a soda. That was never his mindset.” And according to the former cop, West’s peccadillos often got in the way of his security staff’s ability to protect him.

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As the bodyguard told the Hollywood Raw podcast, “He wanted you to stay ten paces behind him on a city street. So, obviously, if someone is going to come up and do something, by the time I try to run up and prevent it, it would have already happened.” This surely made Stanulis’ life quite difficult.

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On another occasion, Stanulis has reported, his former boss left the studio in a rage after an argument with one of his team. It was left up to Stanulis to go after him, tracking him down close to a highway. But when the bodyguard tried to get West to drive back with him in his car, the star refused.

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Instead, West said he wouldn’t enter the vehicle until Stanulis – who has three kids – got rid of the child seats from the back. In the interview with the Daily Mail, the bodyguard also accused the star of driving off with his posse without warning. It would then be up to his security to find a cab to pursue him.

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Speaking with the publication, Stanulis said, “I had heard through the grapevine that Kanye was tough to deal with and he went through a lot of security. I was told before I took the work that I had to be thick-skinned. And prepared for anything, because the littlest thing could trigger him.”

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In the interview, Stanulis listed West’s other bugbears. He claimed that the megastar objected to having the door opened for him, and he didn’t like security staff appearing on camera with him. However, it wasn’t falling foul of one of these traits that was to be the bodyguard’s eventual undoing.

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Rather, the reason that Stanulis gives for getting fired from West’s employ was the fact that he spoke to Kardashian West. The incident happened in 2016, when he’d been charged with protecting the couple for the Met Gala. This was the night where the couple appeared in matching metallic outfits, and West himself sported silver contact lenses.

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The problem occurred in the run up to the night. Staulis told the Daily Mail, “They were getting ready for Met Gala. I was sitting downstairs in the Waldorf, and it was around 6 p.m. I got some information that they were looking to rent a Lamborghini, or something of that nature.”

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After the driver was unable to hire the car at such short notice, Stanulis decided to go and check on them. “I just wanted to make sure we were ready when they were ready,” the bodyguard explained. “I went up to the Presidential Suite. I was walking and the door was open and I happened to see Kim.”

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Stanulis went on, “I thought I’d ask her or the other security or assistant if there was a change of plan. As I was walking up to Kim and the room, Kanye walked by. He came from around the corner and saw me walking towards the room. I turned around and said, ‘Hey Mr. West… how you doing?’”

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West reportedly didn’t respond, merely walking past him. Stanulis adds, “He went to the door and slammed it. I thought that was okay. So I went back downstairs. I told the driver I had no idea what was going on.” However, just a few minutes later, one of West’s team told the bodyguard that his services were no longer required.

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Stanulis had been due to ensure that the West family safely boarded a flight back to L.A. the next day. However, he was relieved of the duty with no explanation. And despite his career as a male dancer, he insists that he had no intention of ever flirting with Kardashian West.

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As Stanulis himself put it, “Even if I wanted to, I never got the opportunity because it happened so fast. The way he was situated, maybe he thought I was there longer or walking up for a different reason. Maybe it was a misunderstanding, but I didn’t have the opportunity.”

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Stanulis continued, “I had no intention of hitting on Kim Kardashian. I am happily married. I got enough problems in the world and three young kids, so that was not my intent. She’s a very beautiful girl, very attractive. But obviously it was just to see if they were going to get to the Met Gala at a particular time.”

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Stanulis could be forgiven for finding the dismissal for a perceived invasion of privacy particularly irksome. After all, he suspects that the couple actually court publicity on purpose. In fact, he claimed in the Hollywood Raw podcast that much of the paparazzi attention surrounding the couple is, in reality, intended.

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In Stanulis’ own words, “First of all, there’s no way [paparazzi] doesn’t get called upfront. There’s no way every time they are leaving, all these people know about it. There’s definitely somebody calling ahead. That’s just my opinion… I’m just saying it’s coincidental that wherever we are, they’re always there.”

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Perhaps West was aware of Stanulis’ self-proclaimed playboy past? This, maybe, could account for the rapper’s reservations with regard to letting the former stripper have a chat with his wife. But the security guard himself actually believes that it has more to do with West’s attitudes towards his staff more broadly.

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Stanulis told the Daily Mail, “There is a right way and a wrong way to talk to people. Just because you have status, doesn’t give you the right to talk to people in a certain way… I didn’t hit on Kim. Kanye has so much in his life. He should be thankful and grateful for people who work so hard to keep him safe and happy.”

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We can’t be sure of the true reason behind Stanulis’ dismissal. And it’s probably fair to say, being a globally recognized celebrity probably throws up pressures and strains us mere mortals aren’t aware of. But it would be hard to deny that the maverick superstar certainly has his personal quirks.

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