David Beckham, party animal
Victoria is less than impressed with David’s recent carousing and his friendship with a wild young socialite
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.