Recent pictures of BRITNEY SPEARS on holiday in Mexico showed her frolicking on a beach with a mystery man who was later identified as her minder, LEE. A former soldier, Lee has been working for Brit for six months and - according to insiders - has been indulging in a spot of ‘overtime'.
"Britney and Lee hit it off immediately. He is her perfect type," revealed a source. "They've been having a great time in Mexico - Lee put a smile on her face."
And Brit's not the first A-lister to fall for the charms of the hired help. Ahlan! reports on the hero complex that's sending the celebs scurrying into the arms of their staff...
Looking for company
In her current situation, it's perhaps not surprising that Britney has reportedly fallen for an employee. Under her dad's watchful eye, her social life's been curbed, so the pond for potential partners has shrunk.
"[Brit and Lee] spent so much time together that one thing led to another and their relationship became physical," explained a friend. But what's the excuse for a pre-breakdown Brit hooking up with another member of her staff, backing dancer, KEVIN FEDERLINE?
The sad truth is, even when she's not under her dad's court-ordered supervision, Brit's destined to be alienated from the dating pool at large. Thanks to whirlwind schedules, celebs like Brit are cut off from their ‘civilian' friends, so they naturally find themselves attracted to those they spend time with - usually a member of their entourage.
Put on a pedestal
But there is a more enticing reason for celebs to date someone on their payroll - especially those with an ego to massage. By choosing someone from their subservient staff, they have a partner with a ready-made desire to please them. Enamoured by their famous employees, the payroll partner feels honoured to be pursued by their famous employer - "Who wouldn't be flattered that a celebrity is interested in them?" asks former Hollywood nanny SUZANNE HANSON. For many celebs, this form of hero-worship is hard to resist. "Nannies are non-threatening," says relationship expert APRIL MASINI. "They don't judge, criticise or compete. They nurture. Even famous men like to be nutured."
Take ETHAN HAWKE and his former nanny RYAN SHAWHUGHES. Watching on as wife UMA THURMAN's career went stratospheric, thanks to Kill Bill, Ryan's wide-eyed adoration was a welcome change for the actor. "To be married to another famous person was a huge pressure - one I didn't enjoy," admits Ethan. Similarly, PA REBECCA LOOS says of her famous employer DAVID BECKHAM, "He was lonely, I gave him what he wanted."
Grasping for normality
For other celebs, the desire to date staff stems from wanting a non-famous partner.
Bored of bashing egos with famous male suitors like SEAN PENN and WARREN BEATTY, MADONNA expressed a desire to date someone who wasn't in the public eye, so she turned her attention to her personal trainer, CARLOS LEON.
"That's the day my whole life changed," admits civilian Carlos. While Madge's brother has since revealed that his famous sister doubted the pedigree of her non-famous partner. "She was not sure Carlos fulfilled the intelligence requirement," admits CHRISTOPHER CICCONE.
Though the celebs initially get the hero-worship they crave, the payroll partner can't maintain the same level of reverence. Sooner or later they're going to revolt and arguments will start, which happened for backing dancer CRIS JUDD and JENNIFER LOPEZ.
And, for celebs seeking a sense of ‘normality' by dating a non-celeb, the payroll partner will invariably seek validation of their position and fame in their own righta la K-Fed, so ultimately neither party gets what they want.