As iMediaEthics has previously reported, soccer player David Beckham filed a $25 million lawsuit against In Touch and its parent company for its story alleging he had cheated on his wife with a former prostitute, Irma Nici. iMediaEthics found it odd at the time that Beckham filed in the U.S., not the UK where libel laws tend to favor plaintiffs.
However, Beckham’s suit was dismissed by Los Angeles judge Manuel Real, the Guardian reported. Real reportedly defined Beckham as a “public figure,” which under U.S. libel laws require the plaintiff to prove the defendant acted with “Actual malice.” “Actual malice” is defined by the Guardian as “either knowledge that the information published was false, or a reckless disregard as to whether it was false.”
The judge reportedly ruled that Beckham didn’t “produce evidence to suggest In Touch had acted with malice” and that “any allegations of infidelity by Beckham would be of interest to the public.”
Beckham denies ever having met Nici, and his publicist, Jeff Raymond, stated that Beckham has “already won a court ruling in Germany,” where In Touch’s parent company is based.