- Publish Date
- Thursday, 12 October 2023, 10:26AM
They may not be royals but former football legend, David Beckham, 48, and Spice Girl turned fashion designer, Victoria Beckham, 49, are one of the UK’s most treasured couples.
From their fairytale beginning to the alleged affair scandal that rocked the world and their picture-perfect family, it’s safe to say the A-listers have captivated fans for years.
The story starts after their first encounter at a charity football match in 1997, it was an immediate attraction for the couple who went on to marry in 1999 in a castle just outside Dublin. Over the course of their 26-year relationship, the Beckhams have gone on to welcome four children together - sons Brooklyn, 24, Romeo, 21, Cruz, 18, and a daughter Harper, 12.
Now, a new Netflix docuseries titled Beckham has shed light on both the behind-the-scenes moments of their relationship and David’s career.
(Series spoilers below the trailer)
Here are five things we learnt from Beckham:
1. Affair scandal
In 2003, infidelity claims plagued the couple after David was spotted leaving a nightclub with his now-former personal assistant Rebecca Loos. Shortly after, she spoke to the now-defunct News of the World outlet claiming the pair had an extramarital affair. Loos claimed it took place over four months when she was assigned to look after David following his transfer from the Manchester United club to Real Madrid in 2003.
The former football star called the claims “ludicrous” at the time, now the couple has spoken freely about the alleged affair with Victoria admitting it was the “hardest” period of her marriage.
Throughout the series, footage is shown of newspaper headlines featuring Loos’ claims, and director Fisher Stevens asked the retired sportsman how he dealt with the “multiple tabloid stories”.
He replied: “There were some horrible stories that were difficult to deal with. It was the first time that me and Victoria had been put under that kind of pressure in our marriage.”
The filmmaker then asked 49-year-old Victoria if it was the hardest time in her marriage and she admitted: “100 per cent. It was the hardest period for us. Because it felt like the world was against us. And here’s the thing; we were against each other, if I’m being completely honest.”
The couple are still unsure how they got through such a turbulent time in their marriage.
David added: “I don’t know how we got through it in all honesty. Victoria is everything to me. To see her hurt was incredibly difficult. But we are fighters. And at that time we needed to fight for each other, we needed to fight for our family. And what we had was worth fighting for. But ultimately it’s our private life.”
2. David’s mental health struggles
David first shot to football fame when he was only 17. Landing a spot as Manchester United’s budding new midfielder, he quickly built a reputation as football’s golden boy and became known as one of the most talented players of his generation.
However, shortly after his debut, he lashed out at Diego Simeone in the 1998 World Cup and his career almost derailed as he was blamed for England’s exit from the competition. Admitting he was unable to go anywhere without being subject to a campaign of hate and abuse from fans, he confessed the experience “broke” him.
Then 23, the former football star recalled in the documentary he was a “mess” while Victoria said her beloved husband suffered from clinical depression as he felt “very vulnerable and alone”. David’s emotions were also at an all-time high as the night before the game he had learnt Victoria was pregnant with their first child, Brooklyn. After landing in the UK, he quickly jetted to New York where the Spice Girls were touring at the time.
While meant to be a happy time for the couple, Victoria said, “When he came to me in America he felt he let himself down, he let his teammates down, he let his country down, he let the fans down, me - he felt he let everybody down,” adding, “But when he was with us Spice Girls there was protection, people couldn’t get to us, we could put a cotton wool around us.
David added, “I find it hard to talk about what I went through because it was so extreme. The whole country hated me.”
3. David’s mum thought he would ‘lose everything’
The former football star’s mother Sandra, 74, also got candid about the early days of David and Victoria’s romance in 1997.
She admits she was concerned her son would get sidetracked from his footballing career at Manchester United when his now-wife, who was part of the UK’s biggest pop group the Spice Girls, came onto the scene.
Sandra revealed: “We were worried he would lose everything he worked for because football had always come first and then all of a sudden it wasn’t.”
Soon after going public, David and Victoria became a brand, attracting lucrative deals with designers, health and fitness experts, magazines, perfumeries and cosmetics companies.
4. Almost missed son’s birth
During the tell-all documentary, the couple talk extensively about their family and their children but one particular story sheds light on the truth behind their youngest son, Cruz’s birth.
Revealing she was furious at her husband on the day of their third son’s birth, she said it all stemmed from a conflict in their calendars. Upon telling David she was booked in for a C-section at a Madrid hospital, he replied by telling her he was already booked in to do a Pepsi advertisement with pop superstars, Beyonce and Jenifer Lopez that day.
Victoria said: “I was like, ‘Are you.. ‘Seriously, I’m about to burst, I’m on bed rest. Are you kidding me? You’ve got a damn photoshoot with Jennifer Lopez who is gorgeous and not about to have a baby.”
Thankfully, David was able to make the birth, but the hostility remained as Victoria recalled she was “p***ed off” after seeing a number of newspaper articles with him posing beside the US singers, “So I had my C-section and I remember lying there,” Victoria said adding, “don’t feel at my most gorgeous, let’s just say, and I remember someone showing me the front page of the newspaper which was a gorgeous picture of David between Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé and the headline was ‘What would Posh say?’
“Let me tell you want Posh would say. Posh was p***ed off.”
The popstar also touched on claims she was “too posh to push” after it was revealed she was having a C-section for the couple’s first son, Brooklyn who was born on March 4, 1999.
“I wasn’t too posh to push, I was told it would not be safe for me to be put into labour.” She did not provide further detail on why she was advised not to deliver naturally.
5. Fan abuse and kidnapping threats
At the time their son Brooklyn was born, David was still an unpopular person in the UK and it resulted in some terrifying and uncomfortable times for the family.
Touching on the months after they welcomed their son, Victoria revealed the then-family of three began receiving kidnapping threats, “We were getting kidnapping threats right from when we had Brooklyn and you can’t even explain how that feels because we couldn’t hide.
“These are all things that are now coming back to me and I find it quite stressful now because I’ve blocked so much of it out and I think David has as well,” she said adding, “Imagine having a baby and having death threats. David had to play knowing this was all going on and I was on my own in an apartment with a baby.
“I’d go to the games with Brooklyn and the abuse was - it’s hard to explain.”
Recalling the abuse she endured while attending games, the fashion designer said there was one particularly awful chant that was “embarrassing” and “hurtful” adding, “We did not know what to do. it felt like we were drowning.”
Ironically, the abuse resulted in the former football star improving his track record and going on to become one of the greatest footballers of his time.
Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you