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Nondisclosure contracts drive chauffeur up the wall

August 02, 2007

IN your story on celebrity nondisclosure agreements ["L.A.'s Secret Service," July 26], you neglected to mention one sector of the slave force to celebrities who may see or hear something: the chauffeur.

I can say from experience that a lot of celebrities will let their guards down while riding in limousines. They say and do things every bit as controversial in limos as they do anywhere else. Since a good deal of celebrities ride in regular town cars these days, the intimacy factor is even greater, and the driver can be privy to a great deal of personal information.

Although some of the major limo companies do require chauffeurs to sign confidentiality agreements, that just means they are not to speak to the press about what they see or hear.

I once had a major A-list celebrity give me the whole long speech on loyalty to the client and not speaking to the press and how low that was. I figured her bending my ear like that was worth something at the end of the evening.

I went home with empty pockets.

These celebrities and their simultaneous obsessions with privacy and publicity border on insanity. What's next: making people who drive next to them who see something sign agreements as well?

It will get worse with celebrities suing low-level workers for perceived injustices. The only people who'll come out ahead are, once again, the lawyers.

Anthony Montoya Bakersfield

WITH "L.A.'s Secret Service," The Times once again forgoes providing its readers with a useful story and instead serves up celebrity gossip. In its unrelenting drive to turn every section into "Entertainment Tonight," perhaps it is the reporters who have signed nondisclosure agreements with respect to any relevant information.

Scott Landsbaum

Beverly Hills

WITH entire TV channels devoted to home improvement and decoration, why is The Times finding it so hard to fill the few pages of the Home section? The article "L.A.'s Secret Service" belongs in the already bloated Calendar section. Please!

Susan Smith Newbury Park

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