While most of us were cared for by the neighborhood babysitter, aka the 16-year-old girl down the road who earned spending money babysitting weekends and in the summer, when our parents worked, went on dates or away for the weekend, it’s a whole different story for the children of Hollywood A-Listers.
We were chauffeured around in our babysitter’s 2000 Honda Civic that smelled of stale cigarette smoke and had a broken air conditioner, a hand-me-down from mom and dad, super nannies of the rich and famous use Cadillac Escalades with tinted windows, to transport the children they care for. We thought that it couldn’t get better than the box of Kraft Mac & Cheese our sitters whipped up for us for dinner, that is until we got older and saw celeb nannies making meals based on the latest trends in diet and health using the skills they learned in culinary school. While most babysitters are still perfecting the English language in high school, celeb nannies are known to speak two or three different languages.
The life of a celebrity nanny can be indeed glamorous, if you end up being one of the lucky ones, just look at the love between Jessica Biel and nanny, Connie Simpson.
Working as a nanny for the rich and famous isn’t all glitz and glam: six-figure salaries, gifts and luxurious vacations. Some incidents have left celebrity nannies wishing it was the good ole' days again. The days they were making $5.00 an hour babysitting the next door neighbor kids in that subdivision in the Midwest they grew up in.
Keep reading to find out about the most outrageous things celebrity nannies have had to do for their employers.
15 Make The Best Cheese Pasta
Corinne Olympios, best known as a contestant competing in Nick Viall’s season of the ABC reality series, The Bachelor, is the type of girl you either love or hate.
The 24-year-old business owner sparked controversy when she let it slip on the show that she had a nanny. A 24-year-old with a nanny? She proceeded to brag about how her nanny, Raquel, made her the best cheese pasta. Cheese pasta? Why not just say macaroni and cheese like the rest of us?
During a later interview on the, Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ellen asked her what we had all been dying to? Why do you have a nanny at 24? Olympios tried to explain herself saying, “She works with my family, she's been with us for 18 years. She moved with us to Florida from New Jersey. She's kind of, like, my everything. She raised my sister. She helped my mom through cancer. She's just great. She's part of our family.”
Olympios’ explanation didn’t have America convinced though. One fan even started a GoFundMe campaign to “free” Raquel.
14 Following A Strict Kosher And Macrobiotic Diet
Among the many impressive accomplishments on her resume, Australian Super Nanny, Angela Jacobsen, has “working for Madonna” as one of her past experiences. Jacobsen cared for Madonna’s adopted son David, that is until 2009 when she announced she was leaving her job on her personal Facebook page. She said, “ I’m not putting up with this sh*t any more. Never have, never will. Standing up for my rights regardless of consequence. Sick of always being the one who compromise.”
While Madge had many unreasonable requirements of Jacobsen, like being on call 24 hours a day, Jacobsen’s biggest gripe was the strict kosher and macrobiotic diet everyone in the household had to follow.
What is a macrobiotic diet exactly? According to WebMD a macrobiotic diet, “promises a healthier, more holistic long-term lifestyle for men, women, and children that encompasses mental outlook as well as food choices.” Foods commonly associated with the macrobiotic diet include organically grown whole grains such as rice, barley, millet, oats and corn, organic vegetables, beans and bean products like tofu, miso and tempeh and sea vegetables such as seaweed, nori and agar.
Eating those foods, it’s no wonder Jacobsen finally snapped.
13 Have A Fling
When Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner went from co-stars to couple, over ten years ago, they were a Hollywood hot topic. Fast-forward a few years, and the media was reporting about their family life, not their sizzling romance.
With taxing jobs they needed help. Christine Ouzounian was hired to care for the couple’s three children Violet, ten, Seraphina, seven and Sam, four.
It didn’t take long for reports to surface when Christine was fired. The reason, an alleged affair with the Hollywood actor. Jen later confirmed rumors that Affleck had been involved with the couple’s nanny in an interview with People.
We see it all too often, the husband who has an affair with the nanny. How much of it was Ben and how much of it was Christine? If Affleck showed a strong interest in the nanny and she turned him down, she could have been fired. She went ahead with the affair and she was fired. What’s a girl to do if she fears the loss of a job?
12 Learn To Dance Like Bey
To what lengths would you go to satisfy power couple Beyoncé and Jay Z? According to one nanny who claims she worked for the Carters, Queen Bey made her learn the choreography from her song, Single Ladies, so she could perform it to Bey’s daughter, Blue Ivy, on request. Was it to calm her down? Keep her occupied? Remind her who her mommy was?
I taught my two-year-old the moves to DJ Casper’s Cha-Cha Slide a few months ago. I turned the music video on YouTube, cranked up the volume and hit the dance floor, okay it was the living room floor. Did dancing for my two-year-old calm her down? No. Did it keep her occupied? Most definitely. Did it remind her who her mommy was? Well I don’t think she will ever forget who her mommy is not, that’s a dancer.
One can only hope the nanny was an accomplished hip-hop dancer who mastered the moves like a boss.
11 Be An Expert Seamstress
It’s no doubt soccer player David Beckham and Pop Princess Victoria Beckham lead busy lives. In an interview with Vogue Australia, Posh Spice confessed that the family employs a housekeeper, chef and nanny to keep their household running.
What expertise does the nanny who looks after youngest daughter and mini fashionista, Harper, require in addition to complete confidentiality and Harper’s very best at heart? Apparently a seamstress certification. In addition to ensuring Harper makes it to school, extracurricular activities and social events, like the Burberry Fashion Show, Harper’s nanny is also a skilled seamstress who ensures wherever young Harper is headed, she heads there in style.
I know what you’re thinking, you are 30 and still don’t have your own seamstress. In fact, you don’t even remember what you wore today. If you are like me, you probably wore whatever you pulled out of your closet first that was clean and are pretty sure it was purchased at the nearest Target.
10 Keep The Baby Quiet
If you’ve had a newborn or have any experience with newborns, you know that getting them acclimated to day and night is no easy feat, it takes weeks, if not months of practice. Did you know that it is actually important your baby wakes through the night though? If they don’t it could be a warning sign of severe jaundice. Paediatricians agree new parents should be waking up their newborn to eat every four hours if they aren’t waking up on their own.
Try telling that to the Wests. According to an insider, after bringing home new baby, North West, Kanye offered to pay the nanny $2,000 per night just to get North West to sleep. The insider reported that, “The idea was to keep Kim from becoming stressed when North would wake up crying.”
So when is it okay to let your baby sleep through the night? Dr. Ari Brown author of, Baby 411, and spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics says after, “the two-week checkup, if your baby is gaining weight.” If they start waking in the night, feed them. Babies go through growth spurts and may have times when they need more nutrients than others.
9 Play Dress Up
As parents we go to extremes to make our kids behave. Lines that sound all too familiar are, “If you eat all of your vegetables you can have dessert,” “ If you finish your homework you can play that video game” or “ When you’ve finished cleaning your room, then you get a golden star on the sticker chart.” Where do we draw the line? Apparently for Gwen Stefani the sky is the limit.
Nanny for Gwen Stefani’s boys, Kingston, Zuma and Apollo, reported she had to dress up while working for the No Doubt singer. The Nanny said, “Batman, Superman, Spiderman- you name it, I’ve dressed up as it. She once promised it as a treat for the boys if they behaved and went to sleep, but I ended up doing it every night.”
Does anyone else wonder why Gwen didn’t just hire one of those personal character appearances to sing her boys to sleep? It's just as entertaining and way more believable. Plus, it isn’t like she doesn’t have the money.
8 Dye Their Hair
Super Nanny, Philippa Christian, has spoken out about being a nanny for the rich and famous. Her average work week consists of dodging the paparazzi, traveling the world via private jets and being gifted expensive designer clothing and accessories to wear when she accompanies her employers to exclusive parties.
It’s no doubt for nannies like Christian the perks are extraordinary. She can’t complain about her pay either, claiming she has earned up to $10,000 for one week’s work. That’s not to say working for the divas and dudes of Hollywood doesn’t come with some downfalls.
Blond beauty, Christian, reported she was flown to LA for an interview with one of the most famous families in America and they wanted to hire her under one condition: she needed to dye her hair brown to fit in with the family’s aesthetics.
Christian didn’t disclose whether she took the job, but according to later pictures of her, it’s safe to say she did.
7 Endure Physical Threats And Verbal Abuse
Our 15 Celeb Nannies And The Crazy Things They Had To Do list would not be complete without mentioning the legal battle Bruce Willis and Demi Moore fought against former nanny, Kim Tannahill, during the late 90s.
Kim Tannahill, who cared for Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s three daughters from March of 1994 to August 1997, filed a lawsuit against the couple in Los Angeles claiming they had verbally and physically abused her during and after her employment. Tannahill claimed Moore once locked her in a room and physically restrained her for more than an hour while the actress verbally “beat” her.
Attorney Martin Singer, representative of Willis and Moore, called the complaints “gratuitous nonsense” and claimed, “A number of current and ex-employees will confirm that these allegations made by Ms. Tannahill are without merit.”
Was the bitter end to the relationship between the three just Tannahill’s revenge against the couple who were already in the process of suing the nanny for breaking a confidentiality agreement? Or was their truth to her chilling allegations about Bruce and Demi?
6 Speak Multiple Languages
Being parents is a full time job, throw in acting and humanitarian efforts, it’s no wonder Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had to depend on nannies to help look after their six children. While the average babysitter’s interview process may at the least, get the gig on reference and at most, spend an afternoon with baby and mom, Brad and Angelina’s interview process involves a rigorous vetting operation.
One applicant who applied to nanny for one of the six children reported she was required to have a college degree in either education or child development and the ability to speak two languages. She claimed those applying for jobs caring for the family’s adoptive children from other countries were required to speak the child’s native language in addition to English.
One can only wonder if Brad and Angelina have had the time to pick up Cambodian, Amharic or Vietnamese since adopting Maddox, Zahara and Pax?
5 Look Like Mary Poppins
Everyone who watched Mary Poppins as a child fantasized about the day Julie Andrews would sweep in and make the struggles of childhood magical. We had learned valuable lessons from her, “a spoonful of sugar does help the medicine go down,” and we were hungry for more.
Apparently, Suri Cruise was too. Back in 2009, it was reported Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes daughter, Suri, asked her parents for her very own Mary Poppins after seeing the Broadway show, Mary Poppins, three times.
Wanting to make her dreams come true, it was reported Cruise contacted a New York casting agency for someone who not only looked like Mary Poppins, but acted and sang like her too. After finding three potential actresses for the role, the couple chose the Mary Poppins they deemed most suitable for the job and scheduled her to move into the Cruise-Holmes home just one month later, black hat, magical bag, parrot umbrella and all.
4 Be Friends
Whether you love the guy or gal you sit next to at work, part of being an adult is getting along with the people you work with. You are polite when it comes to business and even throw in small talk here and there. There is the unspoken rule that at the end of the day, you go your separate ways, you don’t get drinks together after work and you definitely don’t get together on the weekends.
Back in 2007, former nannies to Britney Spears reported that the pop superstar was looking for a friend rather than a nanny and asked prospective caregivers more questions about their personal lives than their work history. One nanny who cared for Spears’ two boys, Sean and Jayden, said, “Britney asked me and one of her nannies to come to her room to watch her try on outfits for a party one night.” I don't know about you, but that sounds like the job of a girlfriend to me.
3 Keep Secrets
From dangling his baby over a hotel balcony to making his kids wear masks, Rwandan-born nanny, Grace Rwaramba, witnessed some of Michael Jackson’s weirdest and wackiest moments. Rwaramba worked for the King of Pop for ten years, first as an office assistant and later a nanny to MJ’s three children, Prince Michael Junior, 12, Paris Michael Katherine, 11, and Prince Michael II, Seven. She is said to have been more of a mother figure than a nanny.
In an interview with People shortly after MJ’s death in 2009, the former nanny revealed the hardest part of her role was keeping quiet about MJ’s drug use in the months leading up to his death. “I had to pump his stomach many times. He always mixed so much of it,” Rwaramba said, referring to drugs. “There was one period that it was so bad that I didn’t let the children see him.”
Rwaramba claimed that at one point she proposed a drug intervention for Michael that included his mother, Katherine, and sister, Janet, which she was fired for, but later rehired.
2 Work For Free
No one said it better than Grandmaster Flash, “We don’t work for free.” While unpaid overtime comes with the job description for the big shots in this world, I think its save to say all the overtime in the world couldn’t make up for the salaries of guys like John Hammergren, Ralph Lauren and Richard Kinder, it’s different for us working and middle class. We expect to be paid for our time. Alexis Barry did too.
Former nanny of Robert De Niro and wife, Grace Hightower’s children, Alexis Barry, sued the couple claiming they failed to pay her for more than 750 hours of overtime. The court’s verdict was in Barry’s favor awarding her $30,000. As per the Manhattan Supreme’ Court’s stipulation, “The parties will keep the terms of the settlement confidential, as well as any matter related to Barry’s employment.” After the lawsuit, I think it is safe to say De Niro was no longer a part of Barry’s circle of trust.
1 Not Be A Beautiful Blonde
What should you do to prepare yourself for an interview to become Jessica Simpson’s next nanny? If you have blonde hair dye it red, brown, black, purple. According to an insider, looks do play a role in whether Simpson will hire you to care for her two children, Maxwell, and Ace. Beautiful blondes should look elsewhere because Jess has a “no blondes” policy.
What’s the reasoning behind this policy? The singer and actress’ football player husband, Eric Johnson, likes blondes, so Jessica makes sure she is the only goldielocks around to keep him from temptation.
While we don’t think Simpson has anything to worry about, it just goes to show that every woman has her insecurities and Jess’ makes sense. After enduring a very public split from Nick Lachey back in 2005, surely she doesn’t want to go through another divorce, so why not do everything she can to protect what she has?