Saturday, June 22, 2024

David Beckham sues actor Mark Wahlberg over ‘£8.5m loss’ in LA gym business

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Now the Inter Miami CF owner claims he lost more than £8.5 million when F45 stocks he was promised were withheld until after the company’s share price plummeted.

Beckham’s firm DB Ventures Ltd (DBVL) alleges that shares in the company were promised to be shared in early 2022, but they were not divulged until months later – by which time the price had gone from about $12 a share to $3 a share.

The footballer’s lawyers now claim this delay cost him millions in potential profit.

The case has been ongoing for several years after Beckham filed a joint lawsuit against the company with retired Australian golfer Greg Norman in 2022. A judge later ruled they had to file separate lawsuits.

DBVL had earlier sought damages of as much as £15 million from F45, according to filings made in 2023, but the new case seeks damages directly from Wahlberg’s investment group as well as F45’s founders.

Wahlberg and his co-defendants, F45 founders Adam Gilchrist and Rob Deutsch, claim the allegations of “fraudulent conduct” are baseless and have asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed, according to documents seen by The Sun.

Forced to shutter locations

Shares in F45 are now worth 15 cents, according to recent market data, and the fitness company has been forced to shutter locations in countries including the UK, the US and its native Australia.

Wahlberg and Beckham’s relationship since the British footballer moved to the same LA neighbourhood has not always been smooth, as the actor previously complained that Beckham had brought too much media attention with him.

He said in 2009 that it “used to be so quiet on my road”, adding: “Then David moves in with his family. Suddenly we’ve got paparazzi hanging out day and night.

“I take strong exception to that kind of thing. Where I come from it’s not considered wise to follow people around like that unless you’re looking for serious trouble. When that happens I start thinking, ‘Either I’m going to get that guy or he’s going to get me’.”

But after making the comments, Wahlberg went out of his way to ensure that Beckham “hadn’t taken that personally”.

“I met him and some of his sons and he seems like a nice guy,” he added.

When Beckham became the global brand ambassador for F45 more than a decade later, he said: “I’ve been a fan of the F45 franchise and training model since being introduced by my friend, Mark Wahlberg.”

The Telegraph has contacted representatives for Wahlberg and Beckham for comment.

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