In 2018, you’d be hard-pressed to find a news story about the famed soccer star David Beckham that didn’t, in some way, shape or form, include reference to the 42-year-old being a doting dad of four.
Such is the idea that time heals all wounds, Beckham, in his middle-age and mellowed reputation, is known far more today for being a loving family man than one with a history-making right foot and casual bravado to boot.
A scroll through his various, and very public, social media accounts paints a picture of family holidays, football throwbacks and birthday tributes to various loves of his life. As far as frivolous Instagram accounts go, David Beckham’s does as much for his public image as any public relations expert could with full-time employment.
It gives us the only image the former Manchester United star seeks to put out to the universe; David Beckham is loving, loyal and a good dad. That’s the whole story and the end of the story. Move on, keep scrolling.
Of course, those with 14-year long memories will know this has not always been the case.
In fact, the remarkable transformation of David Beckham’s public image over the last decade and a half, withstanding email scandals and various affair allegations, suggests the man is coated with Teflon.
In 2004, a 25-year-old personal assistant by the name of Rebecca Loos came forward, alleging she and the soccer star had a months-long affair after Beckham moved from his native London to Madrid.
At the time, he had been married to pop star Victoria Beckham for nearly five years.
Loos claimed the duo had sex at least four times in an interview with Sky News.
“That was the night. September 18th. We had all been out with a group of people for dinner, having a few drinks and relaxing, there had been some flirting and I was getting a few innuendos but I kept saying, ‘No he doesn’t fancy you’.
“I would always say to myself ‘don’t risk your job’ and I knew there was a huge risk involved if I got involved with this man.
“That night we just really hit it off. It was the first time, we were just locked into each other all night conversation wise. We just connected. People noticed it.”
She went on:
“I think the problems were in their marriage long before I came into the picture. I in no way intended to break up their marriage especially when there are young children involved. I hope they stay together.”
Days later, a Malaysian-born Australian model by the name of Sarah Marbeck, then 29, came forward with her own affair allegations.