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Beckham’s Netflix Series Doctored Newspaper Story To Suggest He Didn’t Have Affair With Rebecca Loos

The new David Beckham series on Netflix was facing criticism last night for brazenly doctoring a newspaper story about his affair with his personal assistant.

Close-up shots of the article appear twice in the four-part documentary, which was produced by Beckham’s own company and paints a flattering portrait of the former England captain.

The day after the scandal broke in April 2004, a front-page story headlined MY SISTER DID HAVE AN AFFAIR WITH BECKS was published in the Daily Mirror.

It began: ‘David Beckham and his personal assistant Rebecca Loos did have an affair, her brother claimed yesterday.’ But appearing on screen in episode three and four of the series, Beckham, the first two lines of the headline disappear, leaving only AN AFFAIR WITH BECKS – and the opening sentence changes completely to: ‘The England captain dismissed the allegation as ludicrous.’

Despite the flagrant distortion, Netflix is unlikely to face censure because it is based in the Netherlands and does not fall within media watchdog Ofcom’s jurisdiction.

THE TRUTH: The real frontpage story of the scandal that broke in April 2004. It was headlined MY SISTER DID HAVE AN AFFAIR WITH BECKS was published in the Daily Mirror
BENDING IT: The opening paragraph was removed in the new David Beckham series on Netflix

Some commentators have noted how series director Fisher Stevens edged around the subject of Beckham’s infidelity. Neither the name Loos nor the word ‘affair’ are mentioned.

The subject crops up in episode four of the series. Against a background of footage showing rolling newspaper presses, a TV news report from the time says: ‘They are one of the world’s most recognisable couples. Over the years the Beckhams have actively marketed their union as a marriage made in heaven.

But today that relationship is under a totally different spotlight with allegations that he had an affair… after the footballer’s transfer to Real Madrid.’

At this point a print worker takes a copy of a newspaper off the presses and is shown perusing its front page.

The fake headline says AN AFFAIR WITH BECKS. Next the camera focuses on the made-up text. Before Beckham answers his first question on the matter, the film cuts to Ian Hislop on TV show Have I Got News For You, asking of the stories: ‘Does anyone know if any of this is true?’

With doubt sown, only then is Beckham asked how he handled the crisis. He replies saying the stories were horrible and left him feeling sick.

 His wife Victoria revealed that she no longer felt like the couple ‘had each other’ as they battled to save their marriage. Netflix, Beckham’s management and his production company Studio 99 all declined to comment on the fakery row.

In the past, Ministers have faced pressure to close a loophole that requires British viewers who want to complain about Netflix programmes to go to the Dutch TV regulator. Much concern has been expressed for instance over fabricated scenes in The Crown.

SCANDAL: Close-up shots of the article appear twice in the four-part documentary, which was produced by Beckham’s own company
IN THE CLEAR: Despite the flagrant distortion, Netflix is unlikely to face censure because it is based in the Netherlands and does not fall within media watchdog Ofcom’s jurisdiction

In 2021, ITV was forced to edit part of Oprah Winfrey’s explosive interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after it was revealed that it included misleading and distorted headlines that portrayed British press coverage of the couple as racist.

The Mail on Sunday revealed that headlines flashed on the screen during the interview with the US chat show host were cynically manipulated to back up the couple’s assertion that they were the victims of bigoted coverage.

Tory MP Paul Bristow said: ‘As the documentary shows, David Beckham is clearly a loving father and a decent man. That makes it all the stranger that Netflix appear to be trying to rewrite history and soften how this part of his life was covered in the media.’

By: IAN GALLAGHER
Originally published at: Daily Mail



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