I know it’s hard for Americans to hear the words “email scandal” without instinctively shuddering and hiding under our desks for a nice big boy nap, but over in the UK, there’s an entirely different (and less politically destructive) one a’brewing. And they’re calling it “Beckileaks.”
Over the weekend, a batch of emails between David Beckham, the husband of Victoria Beckham who apparently has a career of his own, and his “innermost circle” were leaked by the website Football Leaks to several media outlets, including Germany’s Der Spiegel, France’s L’Equipe, and Spain’s El Mundo. The messages were reportedly stolen by hackers from the servers of Doyen Global, a “sports management firm run by PR guru Simon Oliveira.”
Once released, the emails (which Oliveira claims have been “doctored”) made headlines almost immediately, but not because they contained evidence of criminal activity or, I don’t know, nudes. They did, however, make Beckham seem like a whiny and insincere little man whose every move for over a decade has been influenced by an almost pathological desire to be knighted, which is what I presume most of our personal email accounts would reveal if suddenly made public.
In addition to insulting the committee responsible for selecting future knights (Beckham called them “unappreciative cunts”) waving off lesser honors (in one email he wrote, “Unless it’s a knighthood fuck off”) and shading other celebrities (he called fellow OBE Katherine Jenkins a “fucking joke”), Beckham’s motivations for all that charity work have been called into question.
Writes The Sun:
...Beckham, worth an estimated £280 million, complained about being approached by Unicef’s ambassador relations manager Chloe Edwards about contributing cash.
In one he allegedly wrote: “Chloe asked me outright which I was pissed off about...I don’t want to do it and won’t do it with my own money.”
Beckham eventually released a statement in response to the hacking—specifically that he only does charity work to improve his chances of being knighted—which reads:
“This story is based on outdated material taken out of context from hacked and doctored private emails from a third-party server and gives a deliberately inaccurate picture. 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. David has given significant time and energy and has made personal financial donations to the 7 Fund and this commitment will continue long term. Before establishing the 7 Fund, David had supported UNICEF and a number of other charities over many years, including donating his entire earnings from PSG during his time playing there. David and UNICEF are rightly proud of what they have and will continue to achieve together and are happy to let the facts speak for themselves.”
Representatives for Unicef chimed in as well, writing:
“David Beckham has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2005, and as well as generously giving his time, energy and support to help raise awareness and funds for UNICEF’s work for children, David has given significant funds personally.”
But we’re not done here! This story gets even wilder! On Sunday, The Daily Mirror revealed the hackers, who are believed to have used “Russian server,” attempted to blackmail Beckham for nearly one million Euros last year in exchange for not releasing the emails.
Hackers initially approached Portugal-based Doyen Sports, part of Oliveira’s firm Doyen Global. Beckham’s business team resisted the blackmail and called in police early last year, the Mirror can reveal.
A source said: “They approached by email and attempted to meet via another third party. They said we have all this information and you have to pay up. It was blackmail, pure and simple.”
Because over 18 million emails were stolen from the servers, Beckham reportedly fears “yet more revelations” as they continue being sifted through. And now I can’t stop imagining Victoria pacing around the kitchen island while on the phone with a friend (perhaps Gwyneth) as David is holed up inside his study, whispering, “Oh, you know, I’m just giving him space.”