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      Fonzworth Bentley's Life Changed Forever After He Stopped Being Diddy's Assistant And Personal Valet

      Posted by VICKY WANJA on Saturday, September 2, 2023 Under: #HOODKNEWGLOBAL

      Fonzworth Bentley has come a long way since gaining recognition as Diddy's personal assistant and valet.

      •  Sean Combs, also known as P. Diddy, went through a name change and image transformation in 2001, accompanied by his personal assistant Fonzworth Bentley, who became a media sensation overnight.
      •  Fonzworth Bentley worked for Diddy as a personal assistant and valet.
      •  Bentley found success as an author, TV personality, and musician.
      Since bursting onto the rap scene in the early 1990s, Sean Combs has adopted an array of different monikers. The acclaimed rapper's first reinvention occurred in early 2001 shortly after he was acquitted of charges related to a nightclub shootout.

      Desiring a fresh start, the now 53-year-old changed his name from Puffy to P. Diddy. Accompanying the new moniker was Fonzworth Bentley; a rather dapper umbrella-toting personal assistant and valet, presumably hired to lend more authenticity to the rapper's newly refined image.

      Bentley's entry into Diddy’s inner circle caused quite the media frenzy, propelling the previously unknown butler to near-instant celebrity status. With his fanbase growing by the day, it wasn’t long before Bentley cast aside his umbrella to pursue his own music career. So, what exactly has the now 49-year-old been up to since leaving Diddy’s employ?

      What Happened When Fonzworth Bentley Was Photographed Alongside Diddy In 2001?

      Three-time Grammy winner Diddy was in the headlines quite a lot in 2001. The now 53-year-old rapper not only faced and triumphed over gun possession and bribery charges tied to a 1991 nightclub altercation, but he also underwent a radical metamorphosis, shedding the moniker, ‘Puffy’ to become ‘P. Diddy’ and embracing an air of cultivated elegance.

      “No more Puff Daddy — the first week in June we’re gonna have a name change ceremony. I’m not doing it as serious as Prince [but] I just want something fresh. I’m rockin’ with ‘P. Diddy’ now,” he said at the time, adding, “My man Biggie gave me that name.”

      Sean Diddy Combs
      via Instar

      With the new moniker firmly in place, the acclaimed rapper was ready to experiment with some other changes. Just months after shedding the name ‘puffy,’ the rapper was photographed in St. Tropez in the company of a rather dapper umbrella-carrying gentleman; a man the world would later come to know as Fonzworth Bentley.

      ''That picture was the biggest marketing campaign that any unknown has ever launched,” Bentley would later say of the photograph in a 2004 interview with The New York Times. “Jay Leno talked about that picture, so did Regis and Kelly. It was in Time, Newsweek, People. It made me famous overnight

      How Did Fonzworth Bentley Land A Job As Diddy’s Personal Assistant And Valet?

      As it later came to light, Diddy had crossed paths with Bentley, then going by his given name, Derek Watkins, at a soul food joint right in the midst of his gun possession and bribery trial. According to The New York Times, Bentley had taken it upon himself to send the rapper inspirational Bible verses while he grappled with the infamous charges

      Fonzworth Bentley
      via Instar

      A few months after Diddy's legal triumph, Bentley, who was managing a restaurant at Eleven Madison Park at the time, hit Diddy with the message, ''Please don't make me go back to my hater boss.”

      Shortly after that daring message, Diddy recruited Watkins as his personal assistant and valet, christening him Fonzworth Bentley. ''I remember the day exactly,'' Bentley later shared with The New York Times. ''It's going to be in the movie about my life. Sean waved his hands in my face and said, 'Your life has just changed. Are you ready?'''

      What Happened To Fonzworth Bentley After He Stopped Working For Diddy?

      Fonzworth Bentley’s life underwent a radical metamorphosis after he cast aside his umbrella and started pursuing his dreams of stardom. In 2003, the now 49-year-old landed a spot on Diddy’s MTV reality show, Making Da Band, where he, yet again, beguiled fans with his sophisticated style and unflappable etiquette.

      Soon after gracing the show, Bentley ditched his umbrella and started pursuing other opportunities.

      Riding high on his escalating fame, the now 49-year-old secured a book deal and went on to author the New York Times best-selling etiquette book, ‘Advance Your Swagger: How to Use Manners, Confidence, and Style to Get Ahead.’

      Fonzworth Bentley
      via Instar

      A few years later, Bentley secured his very own MTV show, aptly titled From G's to Gents. The show, which enjoyed a two-season run before bowing out in 2009, saw Bentley leveraging his profound knowledge of etiquette to guide misguided young men into the world of gentlemen.

      But the show’s cancelation was merely a blip in Bentley’s rapid ascent to stardom. Just two years later, the now 49-year-old ventured into music, releasing his debut album; 'C.O.L.O.U.R.S. by Derek Watkins.'

      Fonzworth Bentley's Life Changed Forever After He Stopped being Diddy's Assistant And Personal Valet
      Via: TheThings

      Two years after dropping his debut album, Bentley collaborated with Kanye West on his 2013 album, 'Yeezus,' acquiring songwriting credits on multiple tracks, including 'On Sight,’ ‘Black Skinhead,’ ‘I Am God,’ and ‘Hold My Liquor.’ The duo would team up yet again for Kanye’s 2016 album, ‘The Life of Pablo,’ where Bentley’s involvement earned him producer credits for the soul-stirring single, ‘Ultralight Beam.'

      "A Kanye album is like a working document. You don't hear the final version of it until it is available for purchase," Bentley said of working with West said in a 2016 interview with Fader. "That's just the way it works. Every producer knows that, every friend knows that. That's just the way it is. I really admire that about him: his ability to strip down a genius idea and chase another genius idea that's come to light."

      A man of many talents, Bentley has also dabbled in acting, gracing the silver screen with small yet impactful roles in films such as Honey, Fat Albert, and Think Like A Man Too. His musical prowess also translated seamlessly to the small screen. Beyond writing songs for ABC’s hit comedy show, Black-ish, Bentley also masterminded the first-ever promotional video for the spinoff show, Grown-ish.

      Bentley and his wife Faune Watkins
      via Instar

      With lucrative opportunities practically pouring in from every corner, Bentley has amassed a considerable fortune. The former butler is currently worth about $2 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

      Bentley is also quite the family man, and is currently married to producer, Faune Chambers Watkins, with whom he shares two kids; a daughter named Zoie Alecia Watkins and a son named Daniel Watkins.


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