If you were every curious how Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie‘s family functioned before the couple’s big split, all you had to do was ask Mark Billingham. As the head of security for the couple for 18 months, he was in charge of protecting the family and ensuring their safety.
According to Billingham, he practically “fathered” Pitt and Jolie’s children — Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8 — while the parents worked.
“The biggest concern for them was the kidnapping of the kids, it’s all about money,” the 51-year-old told U.K. tabloid The Sun. “Angie and Brad are very worried about who goes near the children.”
“It was clear from the start we had a great chemistry and they trusted me with the kids,” Billingham, who was in the Special Air Service prior to the security gig, explained. “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 noted that Pitt, 52, and Jolie, 41, were very hesitant to allow other members of their staff interact with the children and wouldn’t let other bodyguards near them.
“They could look out for them from a distance but they couldn’t physically touch them,” he said. “I took them swimming. I fathered them, basically.”
The former soldier revealed that Pitt and Jolie though the A-list duo was very concerned about their image, and even went so far as to having their entourage carry a spare change of clothes of them, they lack basic social skills many regular people possess.
“I had to make sure their image was protected, that they were dressed properly and not doing silly things that could be caught on camera,” he shared. “What surprised me was their low level of common sense … 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?'”
He added, “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.”
Though he’s since left his post to spend more time with his own six kids, Billingham said he still “do bits and pieces for Brad and Angie” when they need his help. Most recently, he accompanied Jolie to the Iraq to visit the 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.”
Having been around the family for so long, Billingham also found that people like Jolie more than Pitt — resulting in the Oscar-winning actress having a few scary run-ins with fans.
“We had stalkers in Chicago and New York which I had to deal with,” he said. “People love her but hate him.”