The father of former England football captain David Beckham has launched legal action against News International and the former News of the World private detective, Glenn Mulcaire, claiming he is a victim of illegal phone hacking.
Documents lodged at the Royal Courts of Justice, under the name David Edward Alan Beckham, suggest Mr Beckham, 62 – who is usually called Ted – has decided not to use the arbitration system set up by News International last year or the fast-track disclosure process intended to avoid expensive court actions.
NI says their policy continues to be one that aims to settle with victims of past wrongdoing. Mr Beckham's son, the former Manchester United superstar, has been a regular target for Britain's tabloids. Stories that have been published include an alleged plot revealed by the NOTW to kidnap his family, and a 2006 tale that the former England manager, Sven-Göran Eriksson, intended to take over Aston Villa and poach Mr Beckham from the Spanish giants Real Madrid.
However David Beckham has never filed any formal complaint against the NOTW. Ted Beckham's relationship with his son has previously been reported as difficult and tumultuous.
His decision to sue came as officers working on the Metropolitan Police's investigation into phone hacking, Operation Weeting, contacted a new raft of people identified in notebooks kept by Mulcaire.