LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – As news hit that David Beckham lost his In Touch U.S. lawsuit concerning Irma Nici (photos below), Beckham’s publicist was fast to spin the decision. Beckham’s publicist called it “unfortunate” that U.S. legal system required him to prove that In Touch acted with malice.
But that’s the requirement of a libel suit.
David Beckham in 2010 brought two lawsuits, one in Germany and one in the U.S., against at least two parties, the publisher of In Touch Magazine and the woman, Irma Nici, who made the assertions against Beckham. Beckham had in 2010 claimed that he told In Touch, prior to publication of the article, that its report was false. In Touch relied on its sources, not Beckham’s denial.
Beckham told news in 2010 that the story was false. And yesterday, his publicist told news the story was false. But the suit for libel had to prove malice, not just falsehood. “Bauer do not dispute for purposes of this motion that their story is false,” publicist Jeff Raymond said in a written statement Monday. “They have not provided one shred of evidence to support the claim this story is true. David Beckham’s clear evidence proved that this is without foundation.”
But where was the proof of malice? Judge Manuel L. Real ruled that In Touch did not act with malice.
Beckham is still hopeful. He says he will appeal. And he asserts his team allegedly has won the German case. But, “Unfortunately, the U.S. legal system requires us to show that the magazine acted maliciously. Any knowledgeable person knows this story not to be true.” And anyone knowledgeable about such cases knows that libel requires a showing of malice, not just falsehood.
How does Los Angeles Superior Court’s treat defamation lawsuits? In 2010, a Los Angeles Superior Court had to determine where the film “Bananas” defamed the Dole Food Company. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ralph W. Dau believed the film was an exercise of free speech. Dau ordered Dole to pay the defendants’ attorneys fees under anti-SLAPP legislation, reportedly $199,959 in fees.
Irma Nici Pictures Set 2
That same year, an appeals court upheld $325,525 in attorney fees awarded to Stevie Wonder and two defendants getting a defamation lawsuit dismissed.
David Beckham, Irma Nici