Engineering Evil: WOW, Just wow.. There are so many things wrong with this. It does not take a vivid imagination to see all the wonderful ways this luxury of creativity can be utilized in the future, by these pranksters. With this much power, I wonder how much fun they have with their adversaries.. ?
By Nick Craven
PUBLISHED:19:50 EST, 20 October 2012| UPDATED:19:52 EST, 20 October 2012
The humiliating stag weekend prank is a traditional rite of passage for grooms-to-be everywhere. But if your best man is Ben Goldsmith, you can forget about anything as mild as being handcuffed to a lamppost or having an eyebrow shaved.
For the financier executed an elaborate and prolonged hoax on his Old Etonian friend Alex Tulloch, which left the terrified groom convinced he would spend his wedding day languishing in an American jail cell.
Mr Tulloch, a banker, was subjected to an alarming four-hour ordeal in Los Angeles before his friends revealed it was all a big practical joke. His torment began after he retired to the £200-a-night Erwin Hotel in Venice Beach after a night on the town with his stag party.
Early the next morning, a police squad car screeched up to the hotel reception with sirens blaring and blue lights flashing. Two uniformed LAPD officers stormed up to his room and clapped him and two friends into handcuffs with no explanation.
The three men were then taken to a police station and held incommunicado for two hours in separate cells, each sharing with burly tattooed ‘felons’ who shouted and rattled the bars, putting ‘the fear of God into them’, according to one friend.
When a desperately worried Mr Tulloch explained to the officers he was due to marry Harriet Baly in London the following week, he was told it could be two weeks before he was even taken before a judge.
‘Welcome to the American justice system,’ the terrified groom was told.
After two hours the three men were escorted into an interrogation room, where they were clearly very worried about the severity of the situation. It was only then that the rest of their friends –who had been watching in hysterics through one-way glass – burst into the room to reveal the joke.
‘You’ve been Punk’d!’ said Mr Goldsmith, quoting the catchphrase of the MTV hidden-camera show fronted by Ashton Kutcher.
The stunt was organised through one of Mr Goldsmith’s friends in the entertainment industry, who lent him a set from a TV show which is designed as a police station, complete with authentic police cars outside, cells and an interview room.
Eight people were involved in the set-up, including two genuine off-duty cops who had permission to play their roles in seizing Mr Tulloch and his friends from their hotel rooms, plus actors employed to play the grizzled jailbirds.
The two other friends who were subjected to the ordeal were public relations executive Fred Duff Gordon – whose great-great-uncle Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon survived the sinking of the Titanic – and agricultural entrepreneur Leo de Montaignac. The trio, all Eton contemporaries of Prince William, were equally taken in by the performance.
‘It was utterly convincing in every detail,’ Mr Duff Gordon, 31, told The Mail on Sunday, as he expressed a ‘grudging admiration’ for his friends’ ‘twisted imaginations’.
‘When the hotel reception first called us, we were all hung-over and hadn’t been asleep that long so we all ignored it. A very short time later, there was a bang at the door and there were two LAPD officers.
‘They took us in without any explanation, just telling us we were under arrest, but they gave us the impression it was something serious.
‘On the way to the station in West Hollywood, the officers ramped up the pressure even more by telling us there was a shortage of cells at the county jail, so some pretty hardened prisoners were having to be housed in police cells.
‘They assured us we’d be in a cell together, but of course we weren’t – we each had to share with a pretty frightening character. I later learned Ben had hand-picked our cellmates from their photographs to make sure they were scary enough. Ben’s got a very twisted sense of humour – but that’s why we love him.
‘Leo’s cellmate was a 20-stone tattooed and bearded Latino “criminal” who kept shouting at the guards and rattling the cell bars. He would draw a finger across his throat whenever the police officers walked by.
‘At the very beginning I had a tiny suspicion it was a prank, but as it went on, all those doubts disappeared because it was just inconceivable that anyone would go to these lengths. I clearly underestimated Ben and the others.
‘In the back of our minds, we thought this must be some horrible mistake and in time it would get sorted out, but the talk of being kept there for two weeks was especially devastating for Alex, because he was getting married a week later.
‘It was only when we were taken in for “interrogation” that we were told the truth, and Ben and the other friends emerged with video cameras. But we were so scared it took quite a while before we really came back to our senses.
‘I wasn’t too pleased with Ben afterwards – especially as Leo and I weren’t even the groom. Apparently they wanted to make it more convincing and also to have someone there that Alex knew, so he didn’t feel absolutely on his own.’
After the prank was revealed, the party – which included William Aitken, son of former Tory Minister Jonathan Aitken – flew on to Las Vegas to continue their stag weekend in more traditional style.
But 31-year-old Mr Tulloch, his bride and her parents – hedge fund boss Guy Baly and charity fundraiser Nicky Baly – were apparently slow to see the funny side. ‘It was the ultimate stag party stunt,’ said a friend. Every detail had been carefully planned. The trouble was it was just too convincing and went on a bit too long.
‘Alex was in a terrible state by the time they told him it was all a joke, and he wasn’t ready to accept their apologies for quite some time.’
Goldsmith, working with venture capitalist Chris Hunter and property developer Iain Russell, had left no detail to chance as they arranged to have the entire ‘police station’ covered by CCTV cameras.
After Goldsmith, son of the late billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith, released a photo of Tulloch in handcuffs, the bride sent him a message reading: ‘Ben you are disinvited from the wedding.’ On the same day, Mr Tulloch himself appeared in a more forgiving mood, posting under a picture: ‘I am in two minds as to whether I should burn that shirt or not.
‘On the one hand it will remind me forever of the worst four hours of my life, but on the other it does make me look quite ripped up. Ben, Chris & Rusty you are still d***s.’
He declined to comment last week, but told friends that ‘as a close friend of Ben’s, this sort of thing comes with the territory’.
The couple apparently forgave Goldsmith eventually, as his invitation to the wedding at Chelsea register office and a subsequent blessing in Portugal was not withdrawn.
But Mr Goldsmith – who is in a new relationship with film producer and underwear model Jemima Jones after his public break-up with wife Kate Rothschild following her affair with a rapper – should probably watch his own back.
Mr Duff Gordon added darkly: ‘There will be other weddings and other stag parties. There will be a reckoning.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2220866/How-Ben-Goldsmith-staged-craziest-stag-stunt-Held-dawn-swoop-terrified-bridegroom-close-tears-LA-police-tell-hell-jail-wedding-day-Then-friends-burst-.html#ixzz29z65prKN Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook