David Beckham’s charitable behavior was called into question on Friday when leaked emails said to be written by Beckham surfaced, the content of which suggest that Beckham’s commitment to charity might have more to do with honors than honor. The emails, which are the suspected product of a hack by Football Leaks (think WikiLeaks for soccer), specifically purport to demonstrate Beckham’s obsessive pursuit of a knighthood and his otherwise cavalier attitude toward his years-long involvement with UNICEF. One email allegedly sees Beckham reject a lower honor by saying, “unless it’s a knighthood fuck off.”
In response, Beckham’s representative is vehemently denying the story and its implications. Per a statement given to Digital Spy, a spokesperson for Beckham says: “This story is based on outdated material taken out of context from hacked and doctored private emails from a third party server and gives a deliberately inaccurate picture.” The rep defends Beckham’s work with UNICEF specifically, continuing, “David Beckham and UNICEF have had a powerful partnership in support of children for over 15 years … 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 released its own statement defending Beckham against the damaging allegations, which include claims that Beckham was unaccommodating with UNICEF and reluctant to personally donate his own money. The statement says that while the organization cannot comment on an “alleged private correspondence,” “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.” Hey though, if ever Beckham does want government rewards for good work, we’re pretty sure Britain has tax exemptions, too.