Huge damages 'unlikely' in Beckhams' libel case

David Beckham and his wife Victoria are unlikely to get huge damages
if they win their libel action against the News of the World.

This
is the view of leading libel lawyer Keith Mathieson, from Reynolds
Porter Chamberlain, commenting on news that the couple are to face the
paper in the High Court on 5 December.

They are suing over a 12
September story headlined “Posh & Becks on the Rocks”. They deny
the allegations that their “irresponsible and aggressive rows”

had brought Beckham to the “edge of a nervous breakdown”.

The
pair are not suing over the string of NoW stories that preceded it,
alleging an affair with Rebecca Loos.The Beckhams are seeking to
increase the value of a possible award by asking for aggravated and
exemplary damages to punish the paper.

Mathieson said: “The
potential maximum libel award is £200,000, but clearly it is not that
serious a libel. I would have thought we are talking about tens of
thousands, if they succeed.

“Exemplary damages are rarely granted
and I would be surprised if they succeeded in this case. They would
have to prove that the News of the World took a calculated risk in
publishing this story because it knew its circulation would go up.”

The NoW is understood to be standing by its story and intends to defend the case.

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