David Beckham‘s rep is setting the record straight about shocking claims made about the soccer stud and his charity work.
Several tabloid reports said leaked emails from the star to his aides indicated that his humanitarian efforts were made in a bid to boost his public image and ultimately obtain a knighthood, a top Royal honor, in his native England.
“This story is based on outdated material taken out of context from hacked and doctored private emails from a third party server and gives a deliberately inaccurate picture,” Beckham’s rep said in a statement to E! News Saturday.
The soccer star is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and founder of the 7 Fund that supports the organization. In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II honored him with an Order of the British Empire (OBE), which is less prestigious than a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE).
“David Beckham and UNICEF have had a powerful partnership in support of children for over 15 years,” his rep said. “The David Beckham 7 Fund specifically has raised millions of pounds and helped millions of vulnerable children around the world. David Beckham has given significant time and energy and has made personal financial donations to the 7 Fund and this commitment will continue long term.”
“Before establishing the 7 Fund, David had supported UNICEF and a number of other charities over many years, including donating his entire earnings from PSG [Paris Saint-Germain] during his time playing there,” the statement continued. “David and UNICEF are rightly proud of what they have and will continue to achieve together and are happy to let the facts speak for themselves.”
UNICEF also responded to the reports.
“David Beckham has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2005, and as well as generously giving his time, energy and support to help raise awareness and funds for UNICEF’s work for children, David has given significant funds personally,” the group said in a statement.
—Reporting by Marc Malkin
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