The hackers who obtained private emails sent between David Beckham and his employees reportedly attempted to blackmail the ex-footballer for £1 million, with a police investigation now underway to uncover the identities of the culprits.
The leaked emails have threatened to deal a blow to Beckham’s squeaky clean public image, with him reportedly calling the Honours Committee “unappreciative c****” after they chose to not award him with a knighthood in 2003 despite his charitable efforts. In reference to lesser awards, Beckham also allegedly wrote: “Unless it’s a knighthood, f*** off.”
Beckham’s representatives spoke out against the email leak, saying that it was based upon “outdated material taken out of context.” According to the Daily Star, a blackmailer going by the fake name Artem Lovuzov contacted Doyen Sports, the company in charge of developing Beckham’s image and commercial rights, in order to demand a sum of around £1 million. “The leak is a lot bigger than you imagine…a generous donation, and you can be sure that all the information I possess will be destroyed,” the hacker reportedly wrote to Doyen Sports CEO Nelio Lucas.
A statement released by Doyen Sports reads: “The documents, some of which are true, others manipulated to increase the media and the public’s interest, were obtained through a cyber attack on Doyen Sport’s servers. The documents have been regularly published only because Doyen Sports did not give in to the pressure and demands.”
According to The Mirror, Portuguese police have been investigating the case for 12 months and have been handed a dossier of evidence. The hackers have reportedly target a number of businesses across the football world, with Beckham’s brand being the tip of the iceberg.