David Beck­ham, party an­i­mal

Vic­to­ria is less than im­pressed with David’s re­cent carous­ing and his friend­ship with a wild young so­cialite

YOU (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - COM­PILED BY NICI DE WET

HE’S no stranger to hog­ging the head­lines. In the past it was for his heart­stop­ping goals and his re­la­tion­ship with a posh, pout­ing pop star. Then came the adorable an­tics with the ge­net­i­cally blessed brood that fol­lowed their fairy­tale mar­riage.

But fast for­ward 25 years or so and David Beck­ham seems to have gone back in time. In re­cent weeks the 42-year-old has been re­liv­ing his glory days, par­ty­ing up a storm with sev­eral in­ter­est­ing new pals, leav­ing Vic­to­ria (43) de­cid­edly unim­pressed.

The heav­ily tat­tooed fa­ther of four has be­come the golden boy of Lon­don’s party cir­cuit. His up­per-class new chums in­clude hard-liv­ing aris­to­crat Lady Mary Char­teris, model “It” girls Cara Delev­ingne and her sis­ter, Poppy, and even Prince Wil­liam and Sarah, Duchess of York, who or­gan­ised David’s daugh­ter’s sixth birth­day party at Buck­ing­ham Palace ear­lier this year.

But it’s his new friend­ship with blue­blooded Mary (30) that’s re­ally rais­ing eye­brows. They met last year at the Glas­ton­bury Fes­ti­val af­ter be­ing in­tro­duced by David’s long­time best friend, sports agent and “supreme net­worker” Dave Gard­ner, and have since been spot­ted on a se­ries of nights out to­gether in Lon­don.

Af­ter one sight­ing, an on­looker de­scribed the for­mer English skip­per be­com­ing pro­tec­tive over the lithe blonde. David was said to have be­come pos­ses­sive when a man tried to chat her up, telling him, “She’s with me.”

But while noth­ing ro­man­tic ap­pears to have hap­pened (Mary is mar­ried to Bri­tish un­der­ground rock singer Rob­bie Furze), it hasn’t stopped peo­ple talk­ing. Un­sur­pris­ingly, Posh is fu­ri­ous. She re­port­edly told friends she’s at break­ing point over the sto­ries that keep sur­fac­ing about their re­la­tion­ship.

RU­MOURS of an im­pend­ing mar­riage break­down have haunted the power cou­ple for years. As al­ways, they brushed off the re­cent ones as noth­ing but gos­sip. David’s pub­li­cist rub­bished the re­ports but an in­sider says Mary is the com­plete op­po­site of Vic­to­ria – which ap­par­ently ap­peals to Becks. “She’s wild and is the life and soul of the party. She has a lot of male friends.

“She and David just clicked straight away and have struck up a strong friend­ship. She has a re­ally fun per­son­al­ity and they get on well.

“David has been par­ty­ing a lot more in re­cent months and that’s re­ally not Vic­to­ria’s scene, es­pe­cially when she’s busy with work. She’s not a party girl.”

David has also been spot­ted hang­ing out with ac­tress and model Poppy. In Fe­bru­ary the two, who worked to­gether on mu­tual friend Guy Ritchie’s film King Arthur: Le­gend of the Sword, were pho­tographed leav­ing an ex­clu­sive Hol­ly­wood night­club where they’d cel­e­brated the birth­day of Poppy’s hus­band, James Cook, into the early hours.

But Vic­to­ria – who’s in Los An­ge­les with David and kids Brook­lyn (18), Romeo (15), Cruz (12) and Harper (6) – told friends she won’t let it bring down her mar­riage.

“No mat­ter how stress­ful she finds it, she re­fuses to al­low this to come be­tween her and David,” a source close to the fash­ion de­signer says. “They’ve worked hard to cre­ate the per­fect fam­ily

life and there’s no way she would let this de­stroy all that.”

Ac­cord­ing to an­other source, she’s not pre­pared for their fam­ily name – or her name, for that mat­ter – to be dragged through the mud.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the cou­ple have faced ru­mours of David’s in­fi­delity. More than a decade ago David (then 28) was ru­moured to have strayed with Re­becca Loos, his per­sonal as­sis­tant at the time.

Re­becca (then 26) sold her scan­dalous story to the tabloids – but even her shock­ing claims didn’t push Vic­to­ria over the edge.

“They’ve talked in the past about how he needs to be more care­ful over who he’s seen with as, in­evitably, it will be in­tensely scru­ti­nised be­cause of who he is,” the source adds.

“She’s care­ful about who she as­so­ciates her­self with and they both agree that David needs to do the same.”

Just days af­ter­wards Posh seemed keen to show fans all was well in their king­dom by post­ing an In­sta­gram story show­ing her and David en­joy­ing ex­pen­sive wine and cap­tion­ing it “date night”.

YET this time the ru­mours are lin­ger­ing for longer. “Don’t think they’ll di­vorce be­fore Harper is a teenager,” one Beck­ham fan com­mented on­line, while an­other wrote, “Ev­ery­one knows their mar­riage is dead.”

They may be onto some­thing. It seems the gulf be­tween Mr and Mrs Beck­ham is ever widen­ing, with the pair ru­moured to have sep­a­rate wings in their new home.

An­other is­sue is how Posh feels about her hus­band’s par­ty­ing pals. She ap­par­ently can’t stand his BFF Dave. “It can’t be un­der­es­ti­mated just how much Vic­to­ria loathes him,” a friend says. “Vic­to­ria sees Dave as the bad in­flu­ence. It’s as sim­ple as that.”

The agent, who’s mar­ried to Hol­ly­wood ac­tress Liv Tyler, ap­par­ently hardly ever vis­its the Beck­ham home, rather ac­com­pa­ny­ing Becks on lads’ trips around the world.

While Vic­to­ria is still com­mit­ted to Brand Beck­ham and the fam­ily busi­ness – now be­lieved to be worth a whop­ping £520 mil­lion (about R9,6 bil­lion) – it seems she and her hubby of 18 years are liv­ing in­creas­ingly sep­a­rate lives.

With her ever-grow­ing fash­ion em­pire the mom of four is rarely at home and ac­com­pa­nies him only to the oc­ca­sional glitzy bash.

When she flew into Glas­ton­bury by he­li­copter this year to join David, friends say he was close to be­ing in a “com­plete state” af­ter two days of booz­ing and fun with his VIP friends. He and Vic­to­ria ap­par­ently had a huge row, which saw el­dest son Brook­lyn be­ing called in to play peace­maker.

Just as she skipped Guy Ritchie’s wed­ding in 2015, she also didn’t at­tend the May pre­miere of his movie King Arthur in which David made his act­ing de­but. Becks again took the op­por­tu­nity to party well into the night.

“Vic­to­ria is work­ing harder than ever and is in­cred­i­bly fo­cused on run­ning a busi­ness and be­ing a work­ing mother,” a source close to her says. “David has never had more time on his hands, de­spite his very suc­cess­ful busi­nesses.

“He’s a doting dad . . . but he still hasn’t got used to life with­out the rou­tine of pro­fes­sional foot­ball. Quite frankly, he’s bored. That has led to a lot of par­ty­ing and big nights out with friends like Dave, model Alexa Chung and Poppy, which Vic­to­ria doesn’t like.

“And it’s not just them – in the past she’s had an is­sue with [ac­tor] Ja­son Statham and his part­ner, [model] Rosie Hunt­ing­ton-White­ley, and [ac­tress] Char­l­ize Theron.”

David’s solo jet-set­ting life­style has seen him over the past six months visit Madrid, Geneva, Shang­hai and Paris. He’s also en­joyed an African sa­fari with the kids and in May ap­peared at the star-stud­ded Cannes Am­fAR gala with­out his wife.

But, be­ing the busi­ness-savvy peo­ple they are, they out­wardly try to paint a bliss­ful pic­ture, us­ing their so­cial-me­dia in­flu­ence to show­case them as a per­fect cou­ple – such as when they posted pho­tos of them­selves re­new­ing their mar­riage vows in Jan­uary.

“Vic­to­ria wants to prove to peo­ple that she’s not let­ting this get to her and will con­tinue post­ing happy pic­tures on In­sta­gram,” a source says.

What does the near fu­ture hold? A source says Vic­to­ria is plan­ning to be far more vis­i­ble at events with David and sched­ule her work around them so she’s more present, in the hope they can put an end to the con­stant ru­mours.

Guess time will tell on that.

ABOVE: David Beck­ham with best pal Dave Gard­ner at a bas­ket­ball game in Jan­uary. Vic­to­ria is said not to be a fan of the partylov­ing sports agent.

FAR LEFT: Lady Mary Char­teris, David’s new party pal. LEFT: Ac­tor Henry Cav­ill, film­maker Guy Ritchie, ac­tor Ar­mie Ham­mer and David at Guy’s 2015 wed­ding. BE­LOW: David with model Poppy Delev­ingne leav­ing a Los An­ge­les night­club in Fe­bru­ary.

Becks with his sons (from left), Brook­lyn, Cruz and Romeo.

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