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Gary Goldsmith: Kate's 'Ibiza-loving' scandal-beset Uncle G of Casa de Bang Bang fame

Gary Goldsmith (Victoria Jones/PA)
Gary Goldsmith (Victoria Jones/PA)

As the speculation surrounding the Princess of Wales’ whereabouts grows day by day, there truly could not be a worse time for a member of Kate Middleton’s family to be joining the cast of a beloved reality TV show watched by millions.

But that is exactly what is happening: Gary Goldsmith, the tempestuous uncle of Kate, has entered the Celebrity Big Brother house, where he will be filmed 24-hours a day for a time period that could stretch as long as 19 days.

With the TV show airing six days a week, there is a brewing fear over what Goldsmith, 58, may say during his time in the Big Brother house, especially considering reports that he “will talk about everything and anything” and is also “pretty outspoken when it comes to Harry and Meghan.”

Carole Middleton, his older sister, is apparently “infuriated” over his decision to join the cast — a move that was allegedly facilitated by a pretty hefty paycheck — and has reportedly read him ‘the riot act’. And with Goldsmith’s previous record of criminal behaviour and candor, it’s not hard to understand why the royals might be getting worried. Here’s the low down on Gary Goldsmith.

A modest upbringing breeds a self-made millionaire

Gary Goldsmith (Getty Images)
Gary Goldsmith (Getty Images)

Goldsmith was born in 1966 to his painter and decorator father Ronald ‘Ron’ Goldsmith, and jewellery store assistant mother Dorothy. He was not the Goldsmiths’ first child — eleven years beforehand, the couple had welcomed a daughter, Carole. Growing up in a small house in Hounslow, west London, the family counted Durham miners among their relatives and generally considered themselves as working class.

“They were complete royalists, we used to go to Windsor just to get a glimpse of the Queen,” Goldsmith once told the Telegraph of his parents. “Mum loved the royals. She knew about [Prince] William, but she never got a chance to meet him.”

Goldsmith was eight when Carole left her John Lewis shop assistant job to join British Airways as a secretary, where she went on to become a stewardess. This career path introduced her to Michael Middleton, the Leeds-born flight dispatcher she fell in love with. When Goldsmith was 15, he was asked to take on the role of an usher at his sister’s wedding, where she became Carole Middleton.

Carole and Michael Middleton (AFP/Getty Images)
Carole and Michael Middleton (AFP/Getty Images)

After Goldsmith left school, he went to work as an IT operator, then climbed the ranks at the IT recruitment firm Computer Futures with astronomical speed. Within six months, young Gary was a director and shareholder at the company. He sold those shares in 2005 for £17 million, and is reported to have a current net worth of around £30 million. Since leaving Computer Futures, he’s held various chairman, strategic advisor and Chief Operating Officer roles, and is the co-founder of the Recruitment Directors Lunch Club, the “fastest growing network for aspiring Recruitment Business Leaders.”

A child of the Thatcher years, Goldsmith has been described as a “Tory through and through” and admits that he watched her funeral procession from the crowd in 2013.

Over the years, his millions have afforded him a house in Marylebone, a house in Cheshire with a helipad, a 75ft Sunseeker Yacht, and countless expensive Savile Row suits and watches. “I’m a grown-up business man who has actually done quite well for himself, so I dress and behave accordingly,” he once told the Telegraph.

An Ibiza party boy with a criminal record

Gary Goldsmith and wife Julie-Ann Brown in 2013 (Getty Images)
Gary Goldsmith and wife Julie-Ann Brown in 2013 (Getty Images)

This grown up business man is also a notorious party boy who has courted controversy over the years, leading some to believe that the royals have put in place a healthy distance. Goldsmith insists that he has a good relationship with Kate — who he says refers to him as “Uncle G”.

For a while, it seemed as though he did. The Princess of Wales attended Goldsmith’s first and second weddings, to sales executive Miranda Foote and a woman known only as Luan. In turn, Goldsmith was present at the royal wedding of William and Kate in 2011, which he attended with his daughter Tallulah Goldsmith, Kate’s first cousin.

And when Kate was younger, she even indulged in Goldsmith’s world of partying: she and William once stayed at her uncle’s eight acre property in Ibiza, the £5 million house known as “Casa De Bang Bang”, during a holiday in 2006. The walled property was emblazoned with the six-foot high quote “It's Gary's world, you just live in it” on its perimeter for years.

Gary Goldsmith leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in 2020 (PA)
Gary Goldsmith leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in 2020 (PA)

On this holiday, Kate and Wills were seen drinking, dancing and partying, and even spent a night at Pacha, the world famous Ibiza-based nightclub. "They were out on boats. They'd been to beach bars. They had the full Ibiza experience and they had a really good time," Goldsmith told interviewers of the royals’ holiday. “My friend was there and helping them set up the outdoor DJ and he was teaching William about the beats and how to drop a track.”

Goldsmith’s love of the party city would also lead to his first royal scandal, when he was caught by the News of the World cutting lines of cocaine for a sex worker at a party in Ibiza in 2009. At the time, Goldsmith said: “You’d have expected someone who has actually done quite well in business to be a bit savvy, but I had no idea at all. In Ibiza, we’re a really friendly group of people, and because we’ve always done well – you become quite gregarious and share stuff, you would take people for dinner and you would pay for things. It was nothing unusual – we were just looking after people.”

Then, eight years later, Goldsmith made the headlines once again when he narrowly avoided prison after being found guilty of hitting his fourth wife, Julie-Ann, in a drunken row. 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.

Gary Goldsmith arrives with his daughter Tallulah, at St Mark's church in Englefield, Berkshire, for the wedding of the Duchess of Cambridge's sister Pippa Middleton (PA)
Gary Goldsmith arrives with his daughter Tallulah, at St Mark's church in Englefield, Berkshire, for the wedding of the Duchess of Cambridge's sister Pippa Middleton (PA)

A flashy lifestyle of members’ clubs and reality TV

Goldsmith is a man with expensive taste: his suits are Savile Row, his ties Hermes, and his members club subscriptions plentiful. He was a man-about-Soho in the 2010s, where he had a membership to Home House, and a drink named after him at Bob Bob Ricard (pink lemonade and vodka, known as the “GG” in Goldsmith’s honour). Apparently he once abseiled into a work party wearing a white suit embellished with the word “Chairman” in Swarovski crystals. His friends call him the King of Fun and his business cards are sparkling.

Despite his spates of bad press, he is still close to most of the Middleton trio: he used to drink with James Middleton and he was pictured in attendance at Pippa Middleton’s wedding to James Matthews in 2017, alongside Tallulah.

In one interview in 2013, he asserted that Kate is very close with his daughter, Tallulah: “[Tallulah is] so cool about it, and I don’t think I could have been at that age. She never talks about [the Duchess] at school. She is always going to be her cousin, who Kate writes little notes to and does fairy dances with.”

Gary Goldsmith appears on Celebrity Big Brother 2024 (YouTube / Big Brother UK)
Gary Goldsmith appears on Celebrity Big Brother 2024 (YouTube / Big Brother UK)

But if things with Kate weren’t already strained, this most recent development will be sure to make an impact: Goldsmith is headed into the Celebrity Big Brother house, where he is all but guaranteed to talk about the royal family in some shape or form.

His sister, Carole, has apparently read Goldsmith ‘the riot act’. A source told The Sun: “Gary said he’s been read the riot act by Kate’s mum Carole and her dad Michael - they aren’t happy he’s going into Celebrity Big Brother. It is infuriating for them. Kate doesn’t need this stress.”

His addition to the cast comes after a rumoured unsuccessful attempt to join last year’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here lineup. This casting was allegedly halted out of fear of embarrassing the royal family, given the show’s fondness of feeding its contestants maggots and kangaroo penises. But now, a slightly more respectable reality TV opportunity has cropped up, and Goldsmith is on the call sheet.

Kate doesn’t need this stress

On his casting, one insider told The Sun: “The CBB team love him because of his link to Kate and the fact that he’s confident and loud and won’t hold back. He’s made it clear he will talk about everything and anything, and he’s pretty outspoken when it comes to Harry and Meghan.

“Gary also holds a deep affection for Kate and Wills and will be able to give a fascinating insight into what it’s really like being related to the future King and Queen. He could be TV gold and ITV knows it. The deal he signed is for good money.”

Another added: “In the eyes of the public, Gary’s become the black sheep of the Middleton family. Carole is his sister, so there will always be love, but they no longer see eye-to-eye on lots of things.

“He has said he doesn’t have their blessing to go into the house but is going full steam ahead anyway. He wants to defend his family. Gary wouldn’t do anything to embarrass Kate or William, who he thinks a lot of.

“With Kate being out of the public eye at the moment and William shouldering a lot, the last thing they want is for Uncle Gary to be causing any embarrassment on television.”