Gary Goldsmith: The ups and downs of Kate Middleton’s playboy uncle entering Celebrity Big Brother

Self-made millionaire Gary Goldsmith is set to become Celebrity Big Brother’s most controversial entrant

Alex Ross
Wednesday 06 March 2024 07:00 GMT
First look inside Celebrity Big Brother's 2024 house

The much-hyped expected entrance of Kate Middleton’s playboy uncle into the Celebrity Big Brother house will likely be met with dread by the royal family’s already overloaded PR team.

It’s been an exhausting 12 months for “The Firm”, with everything from major health shocks such as King Charles’s cancer diagnosis to severe embarrassment caused by Prince Andrew’s much-publicised friendship with late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

So, pictures of Gary Goldsmith, who is the brother of Kate’s mother Carole Middleton, picking out fancy suits in Soho ahead of Monday night’s launch of CBB on ITV will only induce shudders from those in Buckingham Palace who fear he will create more unwanted headlines.

Arguably the relaunched show’s most controversial housemate, the 58-year-old has already come under strict orders from the family, with his sister “reading the riot” act over fears he will share secrets live on television.

Self-made millionaire Gary Goldsmith, appearing at a Tory party fundraising event in 2018, is expected to appear in Celebrity Big Brother (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, no doubt, the show’s producers will be licking their lips. The four-times married businessman is everything they want in a celebrity – he has the connections, the controversy and the history of bad behaviour.

Some of his past, however, has clearly crossed the line. Other shows have been reportedly put off, including a reported audition for I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!.

An infamous picture of Mr Goldsmith printed in the now-defunct News of the World allegedly showed him with cocaine and a credit card in Ibiza in 2009.

That same year, he attacked his fourth and current wife, Julie-Ann, during an argument outside their home after she accused him of taking drugs.

He pleaded guilty to one count of assault by beating and was fined £5,000 and given a 12-month community order with 20 sessions of rehabilitation.

The Duchess of Cambridge's uncle, Gary Goldsmith, leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court in 2017 where he was fined £5,000 and given a community order after admitting assaulting his wife in a drunken argument in which she accused him of taking drugs (PA)

Sentencing him, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot described him as a “nasty drunk”.

Jane Humphryes QC, defending Goldsmith, said that the incident had left him “deeply ashamed” and worried about the impact it would have on his family.

Since then he has frequently re-emerged in the press; never holding back in defence of his family over purported attacks, including on his niece and William, in episodes of The Crown, Prince Harry’s memoir Spare and biographer Omid Scobie’s book Endgame.

On Harry’s book, which delved into the troublesome relationship between the royal brothers, Mr Goldsmith said: “I’m particularly appalled by his vile confection of half-truths and complete fabrications because Kate is my adored niece.”

It points to a close relationship with his niece, Kate, who is still recovering from abdominal surgery and is expected to return to public duty after Easter.

Despite his conviction and tabloid stories linking him to drugs, Gary Goldsmith was invited to the wedding of his niece Kate and William (PA)

Goldsmith was born to a humble background and raised in a council house in Hounslow, west London. His father was a painter and decorator and his grandfather a miner from the northeast.

Aged eight, his links to the country’s wealthiest began when his sister met Michael Middleton after joining British Airways as a stewardess. They later married, with Goldsmith acting as an usher at the ceremony.

Clearly ambitious, he left school to become an IT operator before joining IT recruitment company Computer Futures, where he soon became director.

In 2005, he reportedly made £17m when he sold his shares in the company and subsequent luxury purchases included a villa in Ibiza, sports cars and a yacht.

Inside the renowned villa, known as “Maison de Bang Bang”, the initials GG were said to be emblazoned on the wall, along with a mural that read: “It’s Gary’s world, you just live in it.”

Despite the tabloid drugs expose almost 15 years ago, Goldsmith was still invited to Kate’s wedding at Westminister Abbey in 2011, arriving in a blue Rolls-Royce.

The royal family will no doubt be hoping for a rather quieter entrance to the Celebrity Big Brother house, followed by an even faster exit.

Speaking to The Sun in January, when rumours of Goldsmith’s appearance in CBB first emerged, Angela Levin, a royal author and biographer, said: “I think it’s cringe-making, very embarrassing, the trouble is he doesn’t like Harry and Meghan at all, some of this comments will fall onto Catherine and she’s had a lot against her, she’s not well.

“I think when you come out of an operation you’re quite vulnerable and this could upset her enormously. In principle, people who don’t like her could say she encouraged him to do it, but she would have done nothing of the kind. It’s very embarrassing.”

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