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SAS Australia’s Mark Billingham accidentally put Penelope Cruz in a HEADLOCK

SAS Australia’s Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham accidentally put Penelope Cruz in a HEADLOCK while working as a celebrity bodyguard for Tom Cruise

SAS Australia‘s Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham has worked as a bodyguard for a host of A-list stars, including Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Kate Moss, Russell Crowe, and Sean Penn.

But the drill sergeant has revealed the unfortunate situation that saw him accidentally place actress Penelope Cruz in a headlock during the early 2000s.

Speaking to Nova’s Fitzy and Wippa on Monday, Billingham shared how he almost took out the petite Hollywood starlet while protecting client Tom Cruise.

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SAS Australia’s Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham accidentally put Penelope Cruz in a HEADLOCK while working as a celebrity bodyguard for Tom Cruise 

The 55-year-old recalled the 2002 incident as he reflected on his time as a celebrity bodyguard in detail during the interview.

Top Gun star Tom Cruise was Billingham’s first A-list client, and almost two decades ago he was trying to secure his safe entrance into a Rome hotel.

Concerned with the size of a crowd, of fans and paparazzi, forming outside the venue, Billingham made a deal with a paparazzo to ‘clear the way’.

Speaking to Nova’s Fitzy and Wippa on Monday, Billingham shared how he almost took out the petite Hollywood starlet Penelope Cruz while protecting client Tom Cruise in Rome in 2002

Speaking to Nova’s Fitzy and Wippa on Monday, Billingham shared how he almost took out the petite Hollywood starlet Penelope Cruz while protecting client Tom Cruise in Rome in 2002

'I grabbed them in a headlock': Billingham saw a potential threat approaching in his peripheral vision and acted fast by placing the would-be attacker in a headlock, however Crusie quickly informed him that it was his girlfriend Penelope Cruz

‘I grabbed them in a headlock’: Billingham saw a potential threat approaching in his peripheral vision and acted fast by placing the would-be attacker in a headlock, however Crusie quickly informed him that it was his girlfriend Penelope Cruz

‘I said, “When we turn up, just leave us alone. Everybody move away from the entrance. Let me have a clear walk to the entrance with him. I’ll stop 10 seconds before and you can get your photographs (of Cruise).”‘ 

Returning to the hotel with a larger crowd than before, Billingham claimed the paparazzo worked his magic and  ‘everyone just moved out of the way’.

However, as Billingham edged closer to the hotel’s revolving door, he saw a potential threat approaching in his peripheral vision and acted fast.

Impressive resume: SAS Australia's Mark 'Billy' Billingham has worked as a bodyguard for a host of A-list stars, including Angelina Jolie, Kate Moss, Russell Crowe, and Sean Penn

Impressive resume: SAS Australia’s Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham has worked as a bodyguard for a host of A-list stars, including Angelina Jolie, Kate Moss, Russell Crowe, and Sean Penn

‘I didn’t have time to look so I grabbed him, I’ve got him in a headlock and the other person,’ Billingham said about both Cruise and the suspected attacker.

It was then that Cruise quickly informed him that he’d made an error and placed an innocent bystander – his Hollywood girlfriend – in a headlock.

‘He looks at me and he goes, “Oh Billy, meet Penelope (Cruz) my girlfriend”… We had a proper introduction after that in the elevator,’ he joked in hindsight.  

Billingham is one of four directing staff (DS) overseeing Australian celebrities take on a series of tough courses and tasks on SAS Australia.

SAS Australia continues on Monday from 7:30pm on Channel Seven 

Tune in: SAS Australia continues on Monday from 7:30pm on Channel Seven

Tune in: SAS Australia continues on Monday from 7:30pm on Channel Seven

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