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KANYE WEST calls himself the world’s “greatest living artist” – but his former bodyguard says the rapper is more like the planet’s biggest diva.
He is so pampered he refuses to press his own lift buttons, and such a control freak that he bans staff from wearing anything but plain black clothing.
His ex-minder — tough former New York cop Steve Stanulis — explained: “I was told, ‘Patterns distract him’.”
Tantrum-throwing dad-of-two West, 38, is also said to be so possessive of wife Kim Kardashian that he banned Steve from talking to her — then sacked him after seeing the pair together in a corridor.
Shell-shocked Steve, 42, whose other clients have included Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, said: “I had to look after his toddler daughter once and it was so much easier than babysitting the father.
“I’ve been employed by a lot of high-end people but I’ve never worked for someone like him. He’s ten times worse than what you see.
“You just never knew what would trigger a meltdown.”
Steve spoke to The Sun as the showbiz world reeled from West’s latest megalomaniacal public rant.
He appeared on a US chat show on Thursday and declared: “I have ideas that can make the human race’s existence within our 100 years better. Period.”
The singer also seemed to compare himself to Picasso, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs.
Bodyguard Steve’s tales of West’s wobblies are just as jaw-dropping.
He said: “On the first day we headed to his music studio. When we got into the elevator Kanye just stood there with his arms folded and said, ‘Aren’t you going to press the button?’.
‘Kanye never, ever apologises’
“I told him, ‘I have never been here, I don’t know which floor’.
“He flipped out, squealing that his time was precious and that he couldn’t believe I hadn’t called ahead to find out which floor he worked on.
“I explained, ‘We have three options. You tell me the floor and I press the button, you press the button, or we stand here’. Eventually, he told me and I pressed the button. Kanye never, ever apologises.”
Then there is his rule against his security entourage wearing anything but black.
Steve recalled: “There was a new security guard and on his first day he wore red-coloured sneakers and Kanye didn’t like it at all.
“The guy also touched Kanye’s shoulder while guiding him through paparazzi into his car. Even though the bodyguard was just doing his job Kanye turned around and snapped, ‘Don’t you ever touch me’.
“Within two hours I got a call to say the guy had been sacked.”
And Steve says it was almost impossible to predict what would set off the vocalist, producer and fashion designer, who is said to be worth £100milllion.
Steve continued: “He got annoyed because I ‘got in his shot’ once when the paparazzi were taking pictures. He absolutely adores the attention.
“On another occasion when we were in the studio, he walked past a couple of his other bodyguards as they were chatting, then turned and demanded, ‘Can you two not talk when I walk by you’.”
Steve once found himself tailing West through the streets of Manhattan late at night in his own family car after one of the star’s strops.
He said: “I was on my way into work and I got a call to say Kanye had stormed out of the studio after yet another row with someone, and asking could I go and find him.
“I discovered him walking down the side of a busy highway and went to pick him up.” But before getting in, the singer tried to insist dad-of-three Steve remove the child seats in the back so he could sit there instead. It seems he only deigns to sit in the front of a car if he is driving himself.
“I told him he could get in or keep on walking — and after a sulk he climbed in the front.”
Another meltdown came on the set of TV show Saturday Night Live when West threatened to walk out during a live broadcast because the shiny floor was reflecting the lights into his eyes.
The security guard said: “He was ranting incoherently and at one point screamed: “I am bummed . . . if I am going to do this, we are breaking the motherf***ing internet.”
It was only when wife Kim, 35, came down from the audience to soothe him that the 38-year-old could bear to carry on with the show.
Then there was the time Steve helped a tipsy West back to his room in New York’s luxury Waldorf Astoria hotel. Steve said: “It was about 5am and when we got out of the elevator he directed me to what was clearly the wrong room.
“There were security men in the corridor who said the suite was occupied by a party of Italian dignitaries.
“Rather than apologising Kanye started yelling and screaming, ‘Don’t you know who I am? I’m Mr West!’ to which the guys looked blank and curtly replied, ‘No’.
“After an awkward few seconds, which felt like an eternity, Kanye let me guide him back the other way.”
At a private “listening party” Steve also witnessed one of West’s infamously arrogant rants about his own talents. He said: “He started spouting off that the Grammy Awards were racist and that Adele was OK but she was no Aretha Franklin and that he was the greatest artist of all time. Former NYPD officer Steve was far more impressed with Kim, mum to Kanye’s daughter North, three next month, and six-month-old son Saint.
But he was surprised how little time the couple, whose second wedding anniversary is next Tuesday, seemed to spend together.
He told The Sun: “They flew in to New York separately for the Met Ball earlier this month and when they were together they weren’t particularly affectionate.”
Despite this, Kanye is fiercely possessive of his reality superstar wife.
Steve said: “I first met her in February at his design studio. I introduced myself and said I was working for her family, so she knew who I was. She was very nice.
“After a few moments one of Kanye’s assistants came over and told me not to talk to Kim or get too close to her. The order can only have come from him.”
The issue came to a head on the night Steve was charged with escorting the two to the Met Ball, the huge annual fundraising gala held in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Not long before the pair were due to leave their hotel Kanye demanded to be driven to the bash in a sports car rather than the booked limousine.
Steve said: “They were struggling to locate one at such short notice, so I went up to their floor to find out what was happening.
“I ran into Kim in the hallway but before I had a chance to say anything Kanye emerged. I said: ‘How are you doing today, Mr West?’.
“He ignored me, walked into his room and shut the door abruptly.
“After that they left for the ball without me. Shortly afterwards I was told my services were no longer required.”
In total Steve had only worked for the star, who lives in Los Angeles, for TWO WEEKS — ten days in New York in February for his combined launch of his latest album and fashion range then four days back in the city ahead of the Met Ball.
But that is longer than many of West’s staff manage to last.
He recalled of first joining the security team: “I was told, ‘Don’t expect to last long. He goes through a lot of guys and some don’t even last the first hour’.” West had especially requested Steve be part of his New York security team again for the ball this month.
But Steve almost turned him down.
He explained: “I initially refused the second gig because he had been so rude the first time around.
“But working with Kanye is like sleeping with your crazy ex-girlfriend. You say you are never going to go there again and then you do.”
He continued: “He is the most condescending person I have ever met.
“It is his world and everyone just exists within it. I don’t know how Kim stays married to him.
“I was amazed by the amount of bizarre behaviour I saw in just two weeks. Imagine what must go on over a year.”