The Badass True Story of Jacquie Davis, J.K. Rowling's Bodyguard Who Inspired 'Close'

Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Jacquie Davis, the world's top female bodyguard, is a total badass with the most incredible collection of stories. Now, there's a Netflix original, Close, partially based on her life, and after more than 30 years, it's putting her career in the spotlight.

In Close, Noomi Rapace plays Sam, a "counter-terrorist expert" tasked with caring for a young heiress named Zoe. If you're expecting a cutesy babysitter story like Uptown Girls, you're out of luck. This action thriller gets crazy intense when violent kidnappers try to swipe Zoe, and Sam basically has to kick butt and take names.

As wild as this storyline sounds, Jacquie's real life is just as entertaining. Here's the real story.

You're definitely familiar with her high profile clients.

According to one of her bios, Jacquie has protected Justin Bieber, the Beckhams, J.K. Rowling, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and Nicole Kidman to name a few. I would just like to add that I am a little salty that she did not guard Biebs from marrying Hailey, but I guess I'll learn to live with that someday.

Jacquie started out as a police officer in London.

Jacquie began as a police officer in the 1970s, but was frustrated with the low pay. An agency approached her about becoming a bodyguard, and she completed combat training. She began taking increasingly risky jobs, and as a result became known as the top female bodyguard.

Photo credit: Jeff Spicer - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeff Spicer - Getty Images

Guarding celebrities doesn't just mean fending off crazed fans.

Contrary to what you'd assume protecting celebrities might be like, Jacquie has found herself in situations much more dangerous than blocking a teen from grabbing a selfie at an inconvenient time.

In 2011, Jacquie worked for UK television personality Katie Price. Police believed that Katie was being targeted by a violent gang that had been breaking into the homes of athletes and celebrities, holding them hostage and stealing their valuables.

In 30 years on the job, Jacquie says that she's been stabbed, shot at, and thrown through a window. CASUAL.

It's a glamorous job... sometimes.

"My job has been fabulous. I've traveled around the world. I've eaten in Michelin star restaurants, as you say, private jets... that part of life is lovely. But, that's a very small part of what you do," Jacquie explained. "There's a lot of stress. You are ultimately responsible for that person's life."

Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

The industry has changed a LOT since Jacquie first started.

In an interview, Jacquie explained that when she first became a police officer, she wasn't even allowed to WEAR PANTS. What the hell?! Although it was a male-dominated field for many years, the need for female bodyguards is becoming more apparent everyday.

"Times have changed and we now have 120 female close protection officers compared with around 4,500 men," Jacquie wrote in an article for The Telegraph. "It didn’t surprise me to see that Meghan [Markle] had a female protection officer on her recent pacific tour, especially as she is pregnant and will probably need to go to the loo a dozen more times than normal."

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