Have David Beckham's Leaked Emails Tarnished His Reputation?
He’s one half of Brand Beckham alongside wife Victoria Beckham, however a leak of damning emails has threatened to totally shatter David Beckham squeaky-clean reputation.
Football Leaks, which is the sporting equivalent of Wiki Leaks, released a number of emails which put the much-loved father-of-four in an unflattering light. The shocking emails appear to indicate that Beckham’s extensive charity work, particularly his role as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, has all been part of a campaign to be awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II and boost his public image in the United Kingdom.
The football legend received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) accolade from UK royals in 2003 for his services to football, but he has yet to be made Sir David Beckham. The leaked emails show that Beckham was furious to be passed over for a knighthood in 2013, and that Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins had an OBE bestowed upon her. Branding it a “joke”, Beckham wrote: “Katherine Jenkins OBE for what? Singing at the rugby and going to see the troops.”
In other emails Beckham demands £6,685 (Dhs30,658) from Unicef for a business class flight to an event in Asia, despite a private jet being provided for him. He also reacts angrily when it’s suggested that he contribute a cash prize to a gala dinner in aid of the charity, allegedly writing: “I don't want to put my personal money into this cause.” Other mails show that advisors stopped Beckham from posting a brag photo of a new gold laptop to his Instagram account, worried that it could damage his ‘man of the people’ image.
However, team Beckham have insisted that the content of the leaked emails is not real and that they have been doctored and faked. David’s spokesperson said: “This story is based on outdated material taken out of context from hacked and doctored private emails from a third party server and gives a deliberately inaccurate picture.” They continued: “David and UNICEF have had a powerful partnership in support of children for over 15 years. The David Beckham 7 Fund specifically has raised millions of pounds and helped millions of vulnerable children around the world."
UNICEF have also come out to support Beckham amid the controversy, by posting a statement on the charity's website listing all the charitable deeds and life-saving work that he has done with the organisation over the years.
A police investigation has been launched into the PR firm in Portugal that the emails were hacked from.