The combination of guns, death and the particular vulnerability that a car on a public street presents to stars who are under siege from paparazzi and stalkers hits close to home for many in L.A.’s celebrity culture, where spending lavishly on personal security is a seldom-discussed necessity.
According to Aaron Cohen, director of IMS Security in Hollywood, whose clients have included Katy Perry, Kate Moss and Charlie Sheen, the cost to secure the home of a tabloid-exposed family like that of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie can top $1 million a year. So it’s inevitable that celebrities — as well as Hollywood’s high-net-worth agents, studio executives and producers — would extend their security periphery to include the possession that serves as a mobile status-signifier in this car-obsessed city.
Enter the armored vehicle. …
Mercedes, BMW and Bentley quietly manufacture armored versions of their cars. The BMW 7 Series High Security can withstand armor-piercing bullets and is outfitted with run-flat tires and a sealed ventilation system in case of attack by chemical weapons.
Who would begrudge a movie star the right to protect himself and his family? So if Brad “I support the right of Americans to own guns” Pitt wants to buy an armored car to supplement his security, more power to him. But it’s little mini-Bloombergs like Charlie Sheen that are so offensive: Guards, guns and armored cars for me, the hoi polloi get bupkis:
“If anybody from the NRA wants to look those parents in the eye from [Sandy Hook] and tell them that guns are still necessary, then I urge them to, and see how that goes,” Sheen began. “Because we’re not supported to bury our children.”
Why are stars like Charlie Sheen and Barbara Streisand so special? Well, because… well, because they just are!