James Lawton: Beast of publicity bites back at Beckhams

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The Independent Football

There is always a danger when you help to make your own life public property. The Beckhams' publicity machine is a wonder of the celebrity age, producing a relentless appetite for every detail of their lives, and the commercial rewards have been astonishing.

This weekend the other shoe dropped when a tabloid published seven pages on an alleged late-night tryst between David Beckham and one of his staff.

Beckham, like any other young family man, can argue passionately for his rights to privacy, but the trouble is that when you encourage a beast, you can never be sure of where it will end, and there is no doubt that publicity, however it is first contrived, sooner or later becomes a beast.

The Beckhams have sold their wedding and key moments of their family life to the glossy magazines. They have starred in fly-on-the-wall documentaries of often brain-numbing banality, and all of it has no doubt been a major help in producing a great mound of endorsements.

Now maybe the Beckhams will finally confront a harsh truth. When you willingly play the celebrity game you take the best ... and brace yourself for the rest.

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