Judge rejects Beckham legal action

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A judge in the US threw out David Beckham's libel and slander case against In Touch magazine

A judge in the US has dismissed David Beckham’s libel and slander case against In Touch magazine.

The footballer’s lawyer immediately said Beckham will appeal against the ruling and disprove the celebrity tabloid’s claims that Beckham cheated on his wife Victoria with a prostitute.

US district judge Manuel Real threw out the caseat a hearing on Monday in Los Angeles.

Beckham’s lawyer Richard Kendall argued that In Touch failed to do basic fact checking that would have shown the star was not where the magazine claimed he was for the alleged illicit rendezvous.

But Mr Real said the Los Angeles Galaxy star is a public figure and his legal team had not shown the tabloid published the story with malice.

Elizabeth McNamara, a lawyer for In Touch owner Bauer Publishing, says Mr Real made the correct ruling. Ms McNamara added that the magazine did everything possible to corroborate details from the prostitute’s on-the-record interview.

Judge Real said in his ruling that allegations of any infidelity by Beckham would be of interest to the public.

Beckham sued In Touch in September and was seeking 25 million dollars (£15 million). The Los Angeles Galaxy star argued in a court filing in January that he was visiting his ailing father in London during one of the alleged trysts with the purported call girl, Irma Nici.

Mr Kendall said a basic investigation by the magazine would have shown that Beckham was elsewhere when the alleged trysts occurred. He asked the judge to allow the case to proceed so that he could conduct depositions that would bolster Beckham’s case, but Judge Real refused. “We were left with two hands tied behind our back for the purposes of this motion,” Mr Kendall said after the hearing.

He said In Touch had taken specific steps to block its story from being seen in Beckham’s native England, where Mr Kendall said libel laws would have resulted in a quicker resolution to the case in the star’s favour.

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