Bakers Bay Celebrities
Bakers Bay, a golf and marina megadevelopment on the island of Great Guana Cay in the Bahamas, is becoming known for its ability to attract celebrities to its exclusive, gated community.
Because Bakers Bay is well known for the environmental degradation it has caused to the coral reef, the mangroves and other critical marine habitats, Bakers Bay tends to attract the type of celebrities who have little regard for such things. In other words, Bakers Bay attracts celebrities who often don't have the best morals, and often, these celebrities play out, or get caught, doing unfortunate things at Bakers Bay.
Here are some examples.
- Lance Armstrong, the bicyclist and sophisticated doping ringleader, was one of the first celebrities to attach to Bakers Bay, and tweeted photos of himself at Bakers Bay in the months leading up to his downfall. According to Gotham Magazine, Lance Armstrong owns one of the original houses at Bakers Bay.
- Talk-show radio host Rush Limbaugh, known for his extreme, racially-tinged views and anti-environmental tirades, was investigated for illegally obtaining prescription drugs and doctor-shopping. He filmed an episode of The Haney Project for the Golf Channel at Bakers Bay in 2010.
- Ben Affleck's marriage crumbled during his stay at Bakers Bay in 2015, as it was discovered he was cheating on his wife, Jennifer Garner.
- Television personality and businesswoman Martha Stewart, who was convicted of insider trading, shared photos of her time at Bakers Bay.
- Jennifer Lawrence was photographed spitting out beer on a boat while staying at Bakers Bay. The incident caused Bakers Bay security to seize the vessel of, and harass a family of tourists, according to a letter to the editor at The Abaconian (details below).
I Care about Coral Reefs. What Should I
do if I Learn about a Celebrity at Bakers Bay?
Local Bahamians believe that you should immediately contact the publicist of any celebrity seen at Bakers Bay. Celebrities who tout their environmentalism, but support or visit Bakers Bay, should learn about the important issues facing the community of Great Guana Cay and the challenges the Bakers Bay megadevelopment poses to the reef.
Do Any Celebrities Oppose Bakers Bay?
Yes! Here are a few of them:
- Sir Sean Connery is a founding member of Save the Bays, an organization set up to oppose what Connery calls 'unregulated development' at Clifton cay, Bakers Bay and Bimini Bay.
- Jean-Michel Cousteau, famed environmentalist, documentary filmmaker and son of Jacques Cousteau and famed environmentalists, urged Bakers Bay to consider responsible development.
- Kirtland K.B. Bodie, Bahamas' most popular recording musician, is an environmental activist who opposes Bakers Bay. In this video, K.B. urges Bahamians to rise up to fight environmental degradation at Bakers Bay and other well-known development issues.
Is it Okay to Photograph Celebrities at Bakers Bay?
There is no crime in photographing anything in the country of the Bahamas. It should be noted that there have been instances of Bahamian police and/or Bakers Bay private security overzealously harassing tourists and locals who they misidentified as paparazzi.
However, locals at Guana Cay want tourists to not feel threatened by these past issues, as it is illegal for Bahamian police or private security to intimidate tourists without cause or to confiscate camera equipment. Photographing people is not a crime in the country of the Bahamas, and nobody has a right to keep you from photographing on Great Guana Cay.
If you are carrying a camera in waters near Bakers Bay, consider the following:
- All beaches in the Bahamas are public up to the high-tide line. It is completely legal for you to walk, collect shells and photograph wildlife with a telephoto lens on any beach on Great Guana Cay, as long as you are below high tide line.
- Some of the best opportunities to photograph wildlife, particularly shorebirds, exist on 'Bakers Bay' beaches. Do not be shy about your right to continue to photograph in these areas.
- Be aware of past issues of harassment, and if possible, try to get video of this harassment if you are approached. Document everything.
- Use good moral judgment in photographing celebrities at Bakers Bay. Use your photos in a way that would make your mother proud, and never for profit. Celebrities who talk environmentalism, but vacation at Bakers Bay are wading into a public conversation about Hollywood hypocrisy, and Notes from the Road certainly encourages using photographs to engage the public about this issue.
Police Threaten Tourists during
Jennifer Lawrence Stay at Bakers Bay
Photographs of Jennifer Lawrence in a swimsuit, spitting out beer into the ocean, were purchased by TMZ and published on the web in early March 2016. Following this incident, police and/or private security at Bakers Bay appeared to be acting overzealously to keep another such incident from happening. During Lawrence's stay on the island, the following incident happened, as published in The Abaconian.
No light has been shed on the legality of this incident, but a look at the LinkedIn profile of the head of security at Bakers Bay might explain how both private security and Bahamian police were involved - they are one in the same. But how is it ethical for private security to act as a police officer? Doesn't the interests of one potentially conflict with the legality of the other?
And doesn't this LinkedIn profile show somebody who is ready for action? With all of the SWAT and counterterroism experience of the security staff at Bakers Bay, isn't it possible someone innocent is going to get hurt?
In other words, should Bakers Bay really be this aggressive at protecting celebrities from Bahamian locals and their guests who are legally enjoying the waters off this golf course development?
Bakers Bay Celebrity Helicopter Crash
April 27, 2007:Bakers Bay Club Accused of Intimidating Abaco Forum Clients during Lance Armstrong Hoopla
For something along the lines of 10 years, an online community formed in Abaco and its out-islands, which include Guana Cay. But the forum has kept a strict policy of not allowing controversy or opinionated emails. The idea was to stay away from flames and for the community to concentrate on advice and good-natured banter.
But, the market of ideas demands free speech, and eventually an alternative to the original Abaco Board came about. At AbacoForum.com, anybody can join any conversation and free speech rights are fully protected.
Bakers Bay Club does not like the product of free speech; because Abaconians despise the megadevelopment, and naturally, negative press does them little good.
Here is the first post from a thread created by Dr. Ralph, the website's administrator of the forum:
Today we received this communication from one of our advertisers:
Effective immediately, please withdraw my banner ad from your site. I ignored the first complaint call that I received but I have just received another. I have never even read the entries on the Abaco Forum. However, to some people, they are upsetting enough that I have had to make this decision. Both the complainants are influential local residents (US transplants, NOT Bahamians) who's criticism of me, and my participation on the site, could be very damaging to my own business. I would appreciate a rebate of the balance of my payment, which can be mailed to the address below. I apologize for this. Thank you for your understanding.
One month ago a person who is associated with the Baker’s Bay Club contacted our advertiser and told her, “The Abaco Forum is organizing a boycott against Lance Armstrong (Mr. Armstrong allegedly made statements that supported the Baker’s Bay Club, in a commercial sense). A second person who is associated with BBC likewise admonished our client, and she has thus asked to have her ad terminated.
Since the inception of the Abaco Forum, we have allowed commentary that has been critical of Baker’s Bay Club, and its parent company, Discovery Land Corporation. On several occasions, we have noted that we are “neutral” on the controversy, and have solicited commentary from BBC/DLC supporters. We had hoped we would get rational, thoughtful responses: something from a biologist, an economist, someone with insight. Instead, BBC supporters have chosen to express themselves by intimidating our advertisers, presumably because they have they “nerve” to support a web site that allows negative commentary about BBC/DLC. Both myself and the other owners of the Abaco Forum LLC have received intimidating emails from these two individuals.
To the two of you, and we know who you are, as well as anyone else who is considering attacking our advertisers or us personally, we want you to know this: while you may coerce every one of our advertisers to pull their ads from the Abaco Forum, we will NOT roll over and prohibit our members from expressing themselves about this issue. We will NOT be intimidated, we are NOT going away, this is not like the other site that you have cowed into submission. You are unmasking yourselves: you are moneygrubbing, hypocritical, destructive hacks. You are unable to defend yourselves with honesty, reason, science, and logic. Instead, you pick on the weak and vulnerable, and to what end? Filling your pocketbooks, pure and simple. Shame, shame on you!!!
To our members: we will not allow this or any other strong-arm tactic to change our policy. Say what you have to say, do it right, do it proud, do it with class. But in the words of Don Henley, “ I will not lie down, I will not go quietly.” Neither will the Abaco Forum.
January 18, 2006: Sidney Poitier and Lance Armstrong
Acclaimed Bahamian actor Sidney Poitier and bicyclist Lance Armstrong recently visited Bakers Bay Club. According to insiders, Discovery Land Company is attempting to requisition one of them as an ambassador on their behalf, and has apparently asked both of them for help in the battle against the native islanders.
Details remain sketchy, but experts are certain neither Armstrong nor Poitier would endorse Discovery Land Company's megadevelopment in any way whatsoever.
Poitier and Armstrong would never risk their legacy for this.
Sidney Poitier can be reached through his publicists:
Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
9830 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212-1825
P.O. Box 2639
Beverly Hills, CA 90213
Lance Armstrong can be reached through his publicist:
Publicist: Mark Higgins
Capital Sports & Entertainment
98 San Jacinto Blvd., Suite 430
Austin, TX 78701
This letter was written to Lance Armstrong.
I have been an avid fan of yours for some time. However I have also been following the Guana Cay development struggle, which is why I'm writing this letter. I was very disappointed to hear that you recently were a guest of the Discovery Land Company.
The development on Guana Cay does nothing but promote deforestation, chemical runoff, and coral bleaching, not to mention the fact that it is hazardous to human health. I am a college student, and in research, I have interviewed several golf course employees, from spray technicians to people who monitor irrigation, about their health. They all reported symptoms such as rashes, fevers, and even vomiting blood, all associated with being exposed to the carcinogens dumped onto the golf course every day. Those men and women were all employed in the United States, who has much stricter laws then those in the Bahamas. The repercussions of exposure in the Bahamas is likely to be much worse because of weaker limits on the amount of pesticides used daily and also from the use of more harmful chemicals that are not legal in the U.S.
You have now seen the cleared trees and land. I can assure you, that Land was previously beautiful and undisturbed. The damage the developers have already done by clearing the trees has just gotten the ball rolling, promoting dangerous chemical runoff. The trees are no longer there to reduce soil moisture, and it is not only ugly, it also accelerates soil erosion and surface runoff. Please don't endorse the Guana development, it will only help the developers take more steps towards endangering the environment and human health.
Thanks for your time,