The former SAS officer, who worked for the globetrotting Hollywood couple as their head of security for 18 months, told the U.K.’s The Sun that the primary concern for the pair was the safety of their children — Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10 and 8-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.
“The biggest concern for them was the kidnapping of the kids, it’s all about money,” Billingham, 51, told the paper. “Angie and Brad are very worried about who goes near the children.”
The security officer added that Jolie, 41, and Pitt, 52, were comfortable having Billingham around their children, however. “It was clear from the start we had a great chemistry and they trusted me with the kids,” he said. “We got very close, I was living with them all the time. I could take the kids anywhere I wanted to on my own. No one else was allowed to do that.”
Billingham even claimed that if he wanted to bring in extra people, “they wouldn’t let any of those near the kids.” “They could look out for them from a distance but they couldn’t physically touch them,” he explained. “I took them swimming. I fathered them, basically.”
Most recently, Billingham told The Sun that he watched over the pair’s eldest while the Maleficent actress was traveling for her work with refugees. “She recently went into Iraq for the UN and I looked after her beforehand, got her ready for it and looked after Maddox when she went in,” he said.
When his duties did extend beyond the children, Billingham said, they involved making sure that Jolie and Pitt were always looking presentable and feeling comfortable in social settings.
“What surprised me was their low level of common sense,” Billingham said. “I found it crazy when they would ask me questions like, ‘How do I go down to that bar?’ and ‘What do I need to do to get there?’ They’re not stupid, but because of the world they live in they just haven’t done something like that for so long. I found that weird.”
Billingham, who will join three other show hosts to helm the British Game Show Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Win, says he ultimately left his post as the pair’s primary bodyguard because he needed a return to normalcy.
“I never had a private life. I was exhausted,” he said, adding that he didn’t have time to see his own six kids. “I lost direction in my own family life.”
As previously reported, Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt last month, and the pair currently share legal custody of the children, though the actress has sole physical custody.
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