The “Rocket Man” was almost rubbed out!
The startling revelation comes from Gest’s former bodyguard and best friend Imad Handi, who spoke with The Sun almost a year to the day of Gest’s death from a stroke at age 62.
Handi claims Gest hired a hitman to kill Sir Elton at one of his concerts after hearing an unflattering remark he made directed at him regarding his then recent marriage to entertainer Liza Minnelli.
“I’d love to buy Liza a heterosexual husband,” joked Sir Elton.
Handi recalls talking the producer out of it — just days before the planned hit!
“David flew into a range and yelled, ‘I’m going to kill that mother******. He’s a dead man,” remembered Handi. “He looked me in the eyes and said, ‘I want him dead!'”
The former bodyguard said it was his job to find out when the english crooner would next be appearing in the Los Angeles area, where the execution would have taken place.
That date was January 17, 2003, when he was scheduled to perform in Anaheim, California.
It was to be carried out through a doorman Gest knew in Hawaii, where he was living at the time.
“No one knew his name but the man said he had friends who could sort it for £40,000,” recalled Handi. “David then gave me $25,000 (£20,000). The following night, I took the money in a white laundry bag to the Hilton village hotel and gave it to the man.”
Worrying about being implicated in the murder, Handi pleaded with Gest to abort the plan in early 2003.
He agreed, but sent the bodyguard to retrieve his money from the would-be hitman.
“The man only gave me £8,000 back, so David lost £12,000….but at least Elton didn’t die,” noted Handi.
Gest’s former best friend is carrying on his legacy by co-producing, “David Gest is Not Dead But Alive With Soul,” a tour that runs though England in July.
“We’re doing this to honor David’s last wishes. He wanted me to continue doing this,” said Handi.