Jimmy Wales hires bodyguard for New York event

Invited to speak about "the future of the Internet" at New York University, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales instead spent the session dwelling on his smartphone's inbox. Why was the muse for the world's most exhaustive list of Simpsons episodes so distracted? Likely for the same reason he hired a personal security guard for the event: would-be paramour Andrea Weckerle. We're told that Weckerle, a PR consultant previously linked to Wales, has such a crush on Wales — unrequited — that she flew cross-country for the event, and told friends she was sharing a hotel room with Wales for a supposed tryst.

Alarmed, Wales arranged for a bodyguard. "He had an earpiece, greased hair, suit — totally conspicuous," an attendee tells us. "He was 15 feet away from Wales the entire time, including the reception downstairs. The guard was watching him like a hawk." If it's true that Weckerle made up the affair, it's an uncharacteristic display of restraint by Wales. Here's the Facebook attendee list for the event. Note how Weckerle signed up immediately after Wales did.

Jimmy Wales hires bodyguard for New York event

Update: Another tipster claims Wales put Weckerle on the guest list, and hired the bodyguard to protect her from his ex-girlfriend, Canadian journalist Rachel Marsden. Curiouser and curiouser! Marsden responds: "LOL! Hilarious. I wouldn't cross the street to attend a geek event, and have no reason to do so in order to see Jimmy. I can, however, vouch for problems with Ms. Weckerle."

(Photo by Mary Pilon)