Denzel Washington in Anguilla
Denzel and Wife, In Anguilla For His Birthday
I visited Anguilla for the first time in 2007, when my sister lived there. It's a beautiful island. I especially love the beaches.
I was most intrigued, though, when I saw this guy on a patio overhanging the beach. Somehow, I had an immediate hunch about who it was, but I could not get a full view because the beautiful palms and dwarf coconut trees partially blocked my view.
I whispered to my sister, "If I didn't know better, I'd say I just saw Denzel Washington."
She replied, "What do you mean if you didn't know better? Girl, it's him. He is one of the 'regulars' among stars who visit Anguilla.'"
She added, "These guys are always here, I've seen quite a few celebrities since I moved here. They love this place."
I must say that I was thrilled. Denzel has always been one of my favorites.
But then again, what's not to love? Anguilla is absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful country, wonderful, hospitable people. Breathtakingly lovely.
Celebrities can go wherever they like in the world, though. Why is Anguilla so popular? My sister had a theory about that.
No paparazzi. My sister has never seen a single professional photographer hounding any of the stars.
Does Anguilla Immigration ban them from entry?
That would be "celebrity heaven."
Reply by Dad: Tessa, you are absolutely right.
No paparazzi here. Aside from the Caribbean's best beaches and restaurants, the superstars of Hollywood and business have the added pleasure of being left pretty much to themselves.
Nori told me a story once about a paparazzi in Anguilla, the only one she has ever seen on this island. The story, coincidentally, involves Denzel Washington.
He was here for his 58th birthday party. Nori was at a restaurant when a paparazzi walked up to her and asked if she was Nori Evoy!
Wow, right? For a moment, she thought this guy with all the photo equipment wanted to take HER picture. Was SHE about to become "one of the beautiful people?" The next thing he said was...
"Do you know where Denzel is staying?"
Talk about deflating.
The pap went on to explain how most paparazzi go to St. Barths to get their "celeb in the Caribbean" photos, but he liked Anguilla since there was never any other competition.
I have heard the rumor that Anguilla turns them away at the border, by the way. I wonder if there is any truth to it. Because it is true that there are generally NO paps here.
Anyway, just to complete the story, every photo that you may see of Denzel from that trip originates from that one paparazzi who later found his prey, obviously. Judging from the background of the photo at the top of this page, you can guess where the photographer finally got his shots.
As to why they do it, you'd be amazed at how much they make when they have an exclusive set of photos like this. They sell them to the TV gossip shows, the websites (such as the one above, which is from theybf.com), and so forth.
I should keep the dollar amount confidential, but suffice it to say that the pay is amazingly high.
Nori enjoys telling her own personal "crossing paths with the stars in Anguilla" stories, such as the time she met Kate Moss in an airport bathroom in the St. Maarten airport or when she and Yuki danced with Paris Hilton at the Pumphouse.
Those chance encounters are almost surreal. You never know who you may be sitting beside when dining in Anguilla. So keep your eyes open...
We once found ourselves next to Condoleezza Rice. In her case, two big guys in dark suits and ear pieces sort of gave it away!
While the personal stories are fun, it would be sad to see hordes of telephoto lens chasing after celebrities here, just so folks can get their morning fix of gossip, thousands of miles away. After all, even the rich and famous are just trying to get away from it all when they come here.
I'll check up on that rumor about Immigration. If it's not true, it would be a superb idea to make Anguilla an official "No Pap Zone!"
Thanks for sending your personal story, Tessa. You must have been excited to see one of your favorite stars. And just for you, here is another "Denzel and Anguilla" story (this time with Jay-Z and Beyonce).