David Beckham has given a candid look at his life in new documentary series that hit Netflix on 4 October – opening up about the most talked-about moments in his career and even his personal life.
The four-episode series sees David talking about his rise to footballing fame as well as the sequence of events that led him to become a British pop culture phenomenon, which also includes his highly published relationship with former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham – who he is still happily married to and shared four children with.
After news of the doc was announced in September, a nearly three-minute-long trailer released by the streamer described it as an "unfiltered story of one of the most celebrated and scrutinised athletes of all time".
And since the show has finally aired on Netflix, those ‘unfiltered’ moments already have viewers talking – namely about a number of new comments made through honest interviews with both David and Victoria, and their close family and friends. This includes, surprisingly, the relentless 2004 headlines about David's alleged affair with Rebecca Loos. Here are the biggest revelations from the four-part documentary…
1. David and Victoria were told to keep their relationship secret in the early days
As well as his footballing career, David's reputation as the “athlete dating Posh Spice” also had eyebrows raising, with the now-fashion designer saying in the doc that her manager at the time urged her to keep the romance "under wraps", forcing them to meet in car parks, which she reassured "wasn't as seedy as it sounds".
David also divulges that his Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson, didn't approve of the relationship at first. “He wanted me married to a local girl who wasn’t a superstar,” he said.
2. Victoria told David she was pregnant with Brooklyn the night before the infamous 1998 Argentina match
Victoria revealed that she shared her pregnancy news with David the night before one of the most difficult moments of his career – his red card during a 1998 World Cup match against Argentina.
She said: “I told David the night before the game. He was so, so happy, we both were and there was never any doubt in my mind that I should tell him. I mean, it was what we wanted and he could not have been happier.”
When asked whether she had thought about whether the news would affect him the night before a big match, she added: "I don’t really know.”
3. David Beckham suffered from depression after receiving a red card in the 1998 Argentina match
In 1998, David received a red card for kicking out at Argentina player Diego Simeone during a World Cup match – England went on to lose on penalties and crash out of the tournament.
Following the loss, David experienced extreme press coverage and “hatred” from the public, which he says left him clinically depressed. Victoria says in the documentary: “I mean, the absolute hate, the public bullying, to another level. He was depressed, absolutely clinically depressed. I still want to kill these people.”
David himself adds: “What I went through was so extreme. The whole country hated me. Hated me. It changed my life. I felt very vulnerable and alone. Wherever I went I got abuse every single day.”
Describing the boos and vitriol he received for months on end, he added: “People look at you in a certain way, spit at you, abuse you, come up to your face and say some of the things that they said. That was difficult.”
4. When Brooklyn was born, the couple were receiving kidnap threats
When Brooklyn Beckham was born in 1999, David was still at the centre of the media storm surrounding England's exit from the World Cup – and the couple revealed that the abuse even stretched to kidnap threats of their newborn baby.
Victoria said: “We were getting kidnapping threats, right from when we had Brooklyn. I mean, you can’t even explain how that feels, because we couldn’t hide.”
David added that he slept against the hospital door after Brooklyn was born, because he was so worried something might happen. “The moment he came out, I all of sudden I thought, ‘How am I going to protect him?’. That night, Brooklyn slept next to Victoria. Victoria was like, ‘Come on, squeeze on the bed with me,’ and I was like, ‘Absolutely not, I’m sleeping with my head against the door’. Because I was paranoid that someone was gonna steal him.”
5. David and Victoria speak about allegations of David's affair
In the fourth episode of the documentary, named ‘What Makes David Run’, the narrative shifts to another media storm David was caught up in in 2004 – namely the Rebecca Loos affair allegations.
Rebecca was a PA of David's for a few months when he transferred to Real Madrid in 2003 – later, in 2004, she alleged that she and David had had an affair in an interview with the News of the World. David dismissed the claims as “ludicrous” at the time.
While David doesn't directly address the specifics, he is asked about “multiple tabloid stories” following a montage showing the multiple headlines about the alleged affair, and the social commentary that came along with it on various talk shows.
He says: “Erm… there were some horrible stories that were difficult to, erm, deal with. It was the first time that me and Victoria had been put under that kind of pressure in our marriage.” He added that the stories put a toll on his marriage: “we were not only losing each other but drowning.”
Of the impact on Victoria, he said: “Victoria’s everything to me. To see her hurt was incredibly difficult. But we’re fighters. And at that time we needed to fight for each other, we needed to fight for our family. And what we had was worth fighting for. But ultimately, it’s our private life.”
Victoria Beckham herself added: "It was the hardest period for us because it felt like the world was against us… I can’t even begin to tell you how hard it was. And how it affected me.”
This article was originally published on Glamour UK.