Rap superstar Eminem is so scared of being killed by gangland enemies, he's hired six former CIA bodyguards to protect him and wears a bullet-proof vest wherever he goes.

The star stepped up his security last month (JUN03) after a feud he started with rap rival Ja Rule over the airwaves escalated

The pair have just been trading insults through their music until now, but Eminem - real name MARSHALL MATHERS III - fears he's upset the wrong people.

The Ex-CIA experts, who cost the rapper $160,000 (GBP100,000) each, are armed with Glock handguns and do safety sweeps of everywhere Eminem goes.

The team have also advised him to invest in a perimeter fence and security cameras at his Detroit, Michigan mansion.

BYRON WILLIAMS, one of the rapper's former bodyguards, reveals, "I was with Eminem when we bought his first bullet vest. He wouldn't be caught dead without it. Slim is frightened, his people are frightened. He is running against big league guys.

"When hardcore gangsters say they're gonna do something, they do it. And right now, they're saying they want to kill Eminem."

25/07/2003 02:53