Posh's U150k Apology; Humiliation as She Pays Damages for Slander after Saying Souvenir Shop's Signed Photograph of Beckham Was Fake

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Byline: BILL MOULAND

USUALLY when Victoria Beckham goes shopping, she comes away with bags full of designer goods to fill her homes and wardrobes.

Yesterday, after the most disastrous spree of her life, she had bills for more than u150,000 but not even a bauble for Brooklyn to show for it.

Mrs Beckham, 27, had to make a humiliating apology in the High Court to extricate herself from a legal tangle that began when she 'rudely' suggested that a storekeeper was selling a fake autographed photograph of her husband David for u65.

The bill for the slander at GT's Recollections Ltd in the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent totted up to u55,000 in damages to owners Timothy and Glynis McManus and their son Anthony, plus legal costs estimated at more than u100,000.

Posh Spice is also having to give them some signed David Beckham merchandise to sell in the shop.

'My lord, my client apologises for the hurt and damage which the claimants have suffered,' her counsel Justin Rushbrooke told Mr Justice Gray in Court 13.

'Mrs Beckham happily accepts that the McManuses are honest and reputable traders and seek to obtain their memorabilia from respected sources.

'Indeed, she never intended it to be suggested otherwise, and simply thought the signature of her husband was not genuine.

'She is keen to take this opportunity for me to join in the making of this statement on her behalf in the genuine hope that the McManus family can carry on their business successfully.' Previous hearings had been told that Mrs Beckham, who was not in court yesterday, was 'rude, loud and unreasonable' when she went into GT's Recollections on March 26, 2001, with Brooklyn and her mother Jackie.

It was said that she made such a fuss during her five-minute visit that it was inevitable that attention would be drawn to what she said.

But yesterday Mr Rushbrooke claimed she had been distressed by suggestions that she was 'rude to the point of having used offensive language'. It was untrue, he said.

The court heard that Anthony McManus was working in the shop on the day that Mrs Beckham visited.

The McManuses' solicitor Michael Skrein told the court: 'When Mrs Beckham entered the shop, there was a picture of David Beckham in a display cabinet at the entrance and it was autographed by Mr Beckham.

'Mrs Beckham's attention was drawn to the autograph. She thought it was not genuine, and said so in the shop.

'Unfortunately, reports of Mrs Beckham's visit to the shop then appeared in national and local newspapers.

Your Lordship can imagine the damage done to the business of the claimants by the suggestion in the Press that they were selling goods which were not the genuine article. …