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March 8, 2006

Beckhams’ libel claim discontinued

Category: News

Proceedings against News of the World over marriage claims 'resolved'


David and Victoria Beckham have discontinued their libel action against the News of the World over the newspaper’s allegations that their marriage was a sham.

The action was brought by the Beckhams over an article published in September 2004, headlined “Posh and Becks on the Rocks“. Subsequently, the newspaper published further revelations about the Beckhams’ marriage by their former nanny Abbie Gibson. The Beckhams took separate proceedings against Ms Gibson for breach of a confidentiality agreement.

The case had been fixed for trial in December 2005, but had been adjourned to a later date this year.

In a pre-trial application for disclosure in October 2005, Hugh Tomlinson QC for the Beckhams told Mr Justice Gray that there was no truth in a series of allegations made by the newspaper:

 

“The case being put against us is that we are promoting a false image of ourselves as a happily married couple. We do not deny that we promote ourselves as a happily married couple. We say that’s because it is true”, he said.

For the newspaper, Richard Spearman QC contended that the article was true and that “because their substantial fortunes depend upon their public perception, the claimants have been cynically and hypocritically trying – for financial reasons – to convince the public that they continue to enjoy a happy marriage”.

In a statement, News Group Newspapers, publisher of the News of the World, said: “The defamation proceedings by David and Victoria Beckham against the News of the World have been resolved on a confidential basis. There will be no further comment.”

 

5RB‘s Sara Mansoori was junior counsel for the Beckhams; Matthew Nicklin was junior counsel for News of the World.

 

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