There’s nothing like a celebrity death for the real juicy gossip to emerge.
Filmmaker and TV personality David Gest died last April at the age of 62 and with the threat of libel action now off the table, his ‘close friend’ and former bodyguard Imad Handi has revealed a rather wild story to The Sun, claiming Gest once hired a hitman to kill Sir Elton John.
According to Imad, the incident happened back in 2003 when David was living in Hawaii and heard about Elton’s comment that he wanted to “find Liza a heterosexual husband” in the wake of his 2002 marriage to singer Liza Minelli.
He told The Sun: “David flew into a rage and yelled, ‘I’m going to kill that motherf***er. He’s a dead man.’ He looked me in the eyes and said, ‘I want him dead’. I think he was so angry because Elton rumbled who he really was.”
He continued, “David spent a lot of time in the bars and got talking to a Maori doorman who was connected on the island. David approached him about the possibility of bumping Elton off. No one knew his name but the Maori man said he had friends who could sort it for £40,000. I had to do the research to work out when Elton would next be in Los Angeles for the hit.
“David then gave me $25,000 (£20,000). The following night, I took the money in a white laundry bag to the Hilton village hotel and gave it to the man. He said he wanted the remainder afterwards. I felt guilty but I felt loyalty to David.”
However, Imad claimed that he eventually managed to talk Gest out of the rather drastic action.
He explained: “I started to really worry about being implicated and at the start of 2003 I pleaded with him to call it off. He eventually said OK but told me I had to get his money back. The man only gave me £8,000 back so David lost £12,000 but at least Elton didn’t die.”
Of course, with Gest no longer around to give his side of the story, we’ll never know if it’s true or not, but if it was, then Elton had a lucky escape. For now at least, he can carry on singing this with gusto: