A series of emails, purported to have been sent by David Beckham to his PR adviser Simon Oliveira, has leaked.
The messages portray a Beckham quite different from the public persona of a kind-hearted, down-to-earth man committed to charity. Instead, the show the former England captain complaining to his trusted aide about everything from donating money to charity, to being left out of the Queen’s Honours List.
The claims are quite shocking, considering Beckham’s extensive work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. As part of his work with the charity, Beckham set up 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund – a fund named after his former shirt number – to commemorate his tenth year as a UNICEF ambassador.
Speaking on the project, Beckham said:
“My fame, my success on the field, opens doors for exactly things like this – the protection of children, the protection of women.”
In stark contrast, the leaked emails show Beckham fuming at the mere suggestion that he should donate any of his personal funds to this project.
“Chloe asked me outright which I was p*ssed off about … I don’t want to do it and won’t do it with my own money.”
He also reportedly charged a £6,685 business class flight to the charity – a cost many expected Beckham to bear himself, not only because he is a multi-millionaire but because he never boarded the flight.
Most shocking of the revelations from these leaked messages is Beckham’s apparent obsession with receiving a knighthood. Despite already having an OBE, Beckham appeared furious about not receiving a knighthood and described the decision-making committee as “old unappreciative c****”. He also went as far as questioning why others were recognised in the annual honours list and was scathing in his assessment of classical singer Katherine Jenkins.
“Katherine Jenkins OBE for what? Singing at the rugby and going to see the troops plus taking coke. F***ing joke.”
His representatives have dismissed the emails as “outdated material taken out of context” which have been selected to portray a “deliberately inaccurate picture”. UNICEF has refused to comment on the content of the emails, instead highlighting Beckham’s extensive charity work and confirming that he had indeed given some of his personal funds to the project.
“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.”
In the meantime, Beckham and his team continue to battle the reputational damage caused by this privacy breach. It is not clear whether or not legal action is being considered at this time.
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