According to reports, hackers tried to blackmail David Beckham for £1m to prevent a leak of his emails.
The former England captain’s reputation has taken a knock following the release of the stolen emails in an incident the British press has dubbed ‘Beckileaks’.
The messages and documents are believed to have been stolen from the network of Simon Oliveira’s agency Doyen Global, which runs Beckham’s publicity.
A police investigation is currently underway in Portugal, where Oliveira’s firm has its servers.
The hackers allegedly demanded a sum of one million euros from Beckham not to release the emails, which include correspondences between the former footballer and Oliveira.
The emails suggest Beckham attempted to use his charity work with UNICEF as part of a campaign to be knighted.
Another message contains an expletive-littered outburst from Beckham after he failed to receive the knighthood.
A spokesperson for Beckham said: “This story is based on outdated material taken out of context from hacked and doctored private emails from a third-party server and gives a deliberately inaccurate picture.
“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.”
So far, Beckham seems to have his supporters and detractors:
The Beckham leaks are very revealing on how celebrities see aid work as a tool to polish their image pic.twitter.com/mgsWy1TtTM
— Ian Birrell (@ianbirrell) February 5, 2017
Arsenal have become such a pathetic charity case, I'm only surprised Beckham's not using us to get his knighthood.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 4, 2017
David Beckham has done a vast amount for the cause of sport in Britain in the last 20 years. A man to be admired, not pilloried.
— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) February 5, 2017