John Paul Getty drama – what his former security guard thought

Malcolm visited the Observer office to tell his story
Malcolm visited the Observer office to tell his story

As a new drama series about the billionaire continues, Malcolm Dewhurst from Bosham shared his memories of a 'great man'.

A former security guard for the world's richest man has told his side of the story of John Paul Getty and his oil empire.

Malcolm Dewhurst, 64, from Bosham, worked at Sutton Place, Surrey, with four other security guards from 1973 to 1976, when Getty was aged 80 and during the time Getty’s grandson was kidnapped for ransom.

After finishing his work for Getty, Malcolm went on to work for a fire department in a small airport between ’76 and ’86 and in ’89 he became a police officer for the Devon and Cornwall police force. In ’98 he moved back to Sussex.

Today Malcolm works as a contract health and safety advisor and plays the drums in a rock-and-roll band.

Malcolm has watched the first episode of Trust, which is directed by Danny Boyle and although, as the show says, it is ‘inspired by actual events’ it isn’t always that close to the mark, he said.

Malcolm said: “It’s nice that he has not been forgotten about. “I do think that sometimes it can be quite insulting to his memory showing him with all those women.”

In the show Getty is seen telling women to ‘come upstairs’.

Malcolm said: “Can you imagine being 80 years old with all those women? He was a great man, if he saw it he would be devastated. I think it degrades his memory slightly.”

Actor Harris Dickinson portayed John Paul Getty III right, Malcolm said.

From the first episode, security guards are few and far between and Malcolm said he had only seen ‘a couple of guys’ in the background.

Getty himself is played by Donald Sutherland.

Malcolm said: “He plays a great part but Getty wouldn’t raise his voice. He was always quiet, controlled and respectful.”

Malcolm also said that unlike in the show, Getty had a tremor in his hand from Parkinson’s so couldn’t sign letters.

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