Saturday, February 9, 2019

From 1999, "the inside story of Michael J. Fox’s wacky wedding" and how Gavin de Becker tried to protect it from paparazzi

Esquire:

Gavin de Becker: “To get to the inn you have to cross a one-lane bridge over the Battenkill: a perfect checkpoint. Between the inn and the surrounding forest is a large meadow occupied by llamas and goats, which would make defending the site from paparazzi easier; it helped that the animals were startled by approaches from the woods.

...

“[The reporters] also discussed sending some people up into the woods around the inn to see if they could sneak up close enough to get a picture. Then somebody suggested that a photographer in a llama suit could probably cross the meadow undetected. Levy liked the idea and sent somebody off to find out where to rent a llama suit in Vermont.

...

Gavin: “From a logistical standpoint, moving the Coyotes [codename for Michael J. Fox and fiancee] from point to point was the most difficult phase of the entire operation. Having a half-dozen vehicles tailgating you is always dangerous, and you have to remember that from the tabloids’ point of view, a minor accident would not have been unwelcome: just think of the colorful photo opportunities. The paperboys [codename for reporters] were running their side of the operation from a low-flying helicopter. They tried repeatedly to pass us, and of course the concern in that situation is that they’ll pull in front of you and then stop. If that happens, you’re a sitting duck. So I drove the swing car immediately behind the Coyotes’ vehicle, straddling the passing lane to keep anyone from pulling up alongside.