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Posh Spice to face slander trial

The Beckhams: One of Britain's most famous celebrity couples
The Beckhams: One of Britain's most famous celebrity couples  

LONDON, England -- The owners of a sports memorabilia shop have won the right to sue former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham for slander.

A full scale High Court action is now set to be launched against the pop singer, who accused the shop of selling a fake autographed photo of her husband, England football team captain David Beckham.

The Court of Appeal reversed an earlier ruling, in which a judge rejected the case brought by GT's Recollections and its owners, the McManus family, against Posh Spice.

In her outburst in March 2001, which was described by judges as "loud, rude and unreasonable," Victoria allegedly said that the shop was "ripping off" its customers.

Two sales assistants and three customers heard her loud remarks, the court heard.

The McManuses say the singer's outburst constituted slander and malicious falsehood and that as a celebrity Posh Spice would have known her words would "spread like fire."

The owners now seek 500,000 ($750,000) to compensate for financial loss. They say sales dropped dramatically after publicity in the media.

Lord Justice Waller said on Thursday that if someone in Beckham's position was aware "that what she says or does is likely to be reported, and that a slander is likely to be repeated, there is no injustice in her being held responsible for the damage that the slander causes."

A statement released after the ruling said Beckham would continue to contest the case.


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