June 08, 2006 03:00 PM

Britney Spears has been spotted around Los Angeles lately with a new companion: A sandy-haired hunk who’s been described as her male nanny, or “manny.”

In fact, he’s her new bodyguard, PEOPLE reports in its new issue. Perry Taylor is a 28-year-old U.S. Naval Academy graduate who seems to be a natural at looking after her son Sean Preston.

The onetime bar bouncer and ski instructor “was a nice, quiet guy with lots of friends,” says a source who knew him back at the Academy, where he also played lacrosse. “He never seemed like the kind of guy who’d be lugging diaper bags around for Britney Spears.”

Taylor certainly does do his share of heavy lifting around the Spears household: He’s been photographed carrying the 9-month-old Sean Preston and pushing his stroller, as well as picking up groceries and bouquets of flowers.

But a source close to the pregnant pop star insists, “He’s not her nanny.”

Then why is he holding the baby? “He’s protecting Britney and he’s protecting the child.” An officer and a gentleman.

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