Finally! The small sidebar in Entertainment Weekly was not enough to sate Gothamist's interest in Farnsworth Bentley, aka P. Diddy's umbrella wielding man servant/personal assistant/motivational coach (he changed the umbrella for a bullhorn and help the Diddy train for the marathon), and the Times anticipated that. The Style section's lengthy article about Bentley and his new line of umbrellas ($160 umbrellas - brilliant!) told us the following things about Derek Watkins (the un-Diddified name of Bentley):
- Farnsworth went to middle school with Andre 3000 of Outkast. "Another childhood friend remembers Mr. Bentley and his third-grade girlfriend coordinating ensembles."
- Bentley was a manager at Eleven Madison Park and hated it; he messaged Diddy, "Please don't make me go back to my hater boss."
- Bentley's parents wanted him to quit after the photographer of him holding Diddy's umbrella.
- He hated his nickname "Farnsworth Bentley" at first
- Bentley, insisting he was not Diddy's butler but a personal assistant, says his Diddy responsibilities "included waking his boss in the morning, fetching caramel macchiatos from Starbucks, fielding phone calls, packing and unpacking P. Diddy's suitcases, and picking out his clothes. He also said he sat in on business meetings." Hmm. Maybe not butler, but how is valet?
- Farnsworth would like "to have his own Hollywood empire, a restaurant and a children's show on Nickelodeon that would fill the void left by the death of Mr. Rogers." Perfect - Farnsworth can teach kids the values of pocket squares and having a different umbrella for everyday - sort of like Preppy Eye for the Four-Feet High set.
The Times article mentions a discussion on blog, rudderless, debating whether or not Farnsworth is positive or negative black role model. Gothamist can understand that the image of subservient black man isn't that great, but neither is a gangsta rapper. Bentley's rise to fame is definitely less bizarre than Paris Hilton's. Plus he's friends with Outkast - that counts for something is our book.
Farnsworth Bentley's umbrellas will be sold online at mr-bentley.com this spring.