The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Beckhams redraw legal lines
- 'Nanny disclosures in public interest'
David and Victoria Beckham

London, April 24: David Beckham wanted at one point to end his marriage to his wife, Victoria, but she wouldn't let go because she was 'madly in love' with the England football captain, the couple's nanny, Abbie Gibson, has revealed today.

He did not apparently love her as much ' though on a recent trip to Paris for her birthday he showered her with gifts worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

They also seem devoted to their three children.

The truth probably is that whatever problems the couple had have been put behind them ' for the time being.

Lawyers acting for the Beckhams last night unsuccessfully sought a High Court injunction in an effort to prevent the News of the World publishing the 27-year-old nanny's account of her two-year period of employment with the couple who argued she had signed a 'confidentiality contract'.

Surprisingly, the judge Justice Langley, rejected the Beckhams' bid to stop publication and agreed with the News of the World that publishing details of their marriage was in the public interest because, according to the newspaper, the couple were making 'millions' by portraying their marriage as perfect.

In this case, the judge has ruled that what is of interest to the public is also in the public interest ' a finding that many in Britain will find surprising.

Since Gibson has been paid a lot of money by the News of the World, some readers may feel she has an interest in embroidering the truth. A legal precedent which emerges from this ruling is that from now on, most confidentiality contracts will not be worth the paper they are written on.

Gibson's account of the Beckham marriage is spread over seven pages today. The paper was able to publish after a fraught 90-minute court hearing on Saturday night.

The couple's lawyers had argued that the nanny's contract had included a promise not to speak about their private lives.

The News of the World, represented by Richard Spearman QC, was given the green light to publish at 8.30 pm yesterday.

News of the World legal manager Tom Crone said: 'The Beckhams have spent a lot of their lives basking in a warm glow of publicity which they have created for themselves. For the first time the world can now read an insider's detailed account about what their marriage is really like.'

Gibson claimed she had witnessed a series of rows between the celebrity couple. She also said Victoria had told her the England captain wanted to split up. This was after his alleged affair with his personal assistant, Rebecca Loos, in Spain.

News of the World journalist Phil Taylor, one of the reporters who covered the story for the paper, said today: 'We did not ask the Beckhams for comment on their relationship. The reason is that we knew from past experience that they would apply for an injunction to try to cover up the truth.'

But the Beckhams aren't finished yet. 'We are consulting our lawyers with a view to taking legal action,' their spokesman said.

Asked why allegations about the Beckhams' marriage were in the public interest Taylor replied: 'The Beckhams, Britain's most famous celebrity couple, have made millions portraying their relationship as a perfect marriage. Abbie lived in their house for two years and she heard their blazing rows and in fact it's got so bad that at Christmas it reached breaking point and she actually heard David say to her that he wanted to split.'

He went on: 'I have spent the past five days interviewing Abbie and we have gone through forensic detail about her time with them during the two years she spent with the Beckhams. In the later stages she kept a diary of what was going on each night.'

This would suggest that even at this stage Gibson had plans of spilling the beans one day.

Taylor said: 'She became very close to Victoria. She not only worked for her, she was a friend of Victoria. The fact is it did start off, and Abbie says this, as a happy marriage. She was with them right in the early days before they decided to move to Spain. At that point the marriage was happy. All the cracks appeared when they moved to Spain.'

Taylor also said: 'What's clear is that Victoria is absolutely madly in love with him and would do anything to stay with him and David hasn't been feeling the same over the past few months.'

Taylor declined to say how much the nanny had been paid for the story. 'The News of the World will never discuss how much we pay for our stories. The truth is this is a massive story and we have paid her for it.'

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