The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Brand and Beckhams on true-love trial

London, Oct. 18: David and Victoria Beckham will face a high court jury to deny allegations that they are “cynically and hypocritically” trying to present a false image of their marriage to the public to protect “Brand Beckham”.

The footballer and his pop star wife are to appear in court in December for a high-profile damages action against the News of the World which alleges their marriage has been “rocked” by his infidelity.

Details of the case emerged yesterday during a pre-trial application for disclosure of documents before the judge.

The Beckhams are suing over an article “Posh & Becks on Rocks” published by the newspaper on September 12 last year.

They claim the article conveyed the meaning that “in order to protect their image and for financial reasons, (they) are cynically and hypocritically trying to convince the public that their failed marriage is perfect”.

They also claim it means that their “irresponsible and aggressive rows and rages” had brought Beckham “to the edge of a nervous breakdown” and was threatening Victoria’s health “during pregnancy and damaging their children”.

The article further meant that Mrs Beckham, “while presenting herself as the loyal wife”, was in private “insulting about the husband and disloyal, telling everyone that he is a vain, arrogant and ranting Essex yob who has lost the plot”, the court heard.

The couple are seeking aggravated and exemplary damages.

The News of the World said that “because their substantial fortunes depend upon their public perception, (the Beckhams) have been cynically and hypocritically trying ' for financial reasons ' to convince the public that they continue to enjoy a happy marriage, whereas the true position is that their marriage has been rocked and seriously damaged by (David Beckham’s) infidelity and betrayal of (Victoria Beckham) leading to inevitable tensions and rows between them”.

Richard Spearman, QC, for News Group Newspapers, publishers of the daily, said the couple “had amassed an enormous personal fortune”.

They had done so through “Brand Beckham”. This was, he said, “the commercial exploitation of the image of a happily married, clean-cut, glamorous celebrity couple”, and they had made “tens of millions of pounds each year”, from exploitation of that image.

“In essence, our pleaded meaning gives rise to ‘what is the true state of the marriage'’ Is it unhappy, rocked by rows and tensions because of David Beckham’s infidelity or is it happy' We say unhapy.”

Hugh Tomlinson, QC, for the Beckhams, said: “We do not deny that we promote ourselves as a happily married couple. We say that’s because it is true.”

The court heard the newspaper will allege Beckham had an adulterous affair with Rebecca Loos, his personal assistant when he moved to Spain to join Real Madrid, and also had sex with Danielle Heath, a beautician, and Esther Canadas, a Spanish supermodel.

Beckham had consistently denied any infidelity.

Hugh Tomlinson, QC, for the Beckhams, said: “We do not deny that we promote ourselves as a happily married couple. We say that’s because it is true.”

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