David Beckham looks dapper as he attends art exhibition launch during Paris Fashion Week… amid public outcry over his dodged speeding fine
He’s been the focus of much public outrage over the last few days, after dodging a speeding fine — hours before treating himself to a £1,300 bottle of red wine.
But David Beckham appeared keen to the put the controversy behind him on Monday, when he attended the opening of a new exhibition by late artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Egon Schiele at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris.
Cutting a typically dapper figure in a fitted navy suit, which he teamed with a light blue button-up shirt, the 43-year-old retired footballer was the main attraction as he arrived at the exclusive soirée, which was held during Paris Fashion Week.
Stepping out: David Beckham stepped out for the opening of a new exhibition by late artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Egon Schiele at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris on Monday
Fresh from a trip to the French countryside with his wife Victoria Beckham and their celebrity pals Eva Longoria and Gordon and Tana Ramsay, the father-of-four looked relaxed as he posed alongside Japanese billionaire art collector Yusaku Maezawa.
David escaped to the French capital for ‘date night’ with wife Victoria on Thursday night, hours after he controversially dodged a speeding conviction.
He admitted driving his £200,000 Bentley at 59mph in a 40mph zone in London in January but his infamous ‘Mr loophole’ lawyer successfully argued the ticket had been served a day too late.
Dapper gent: The retired footballer, 43, cut a typically dapper figure in a fitted navy suit, which he teamed with a light blue button-up shirt
On Thursday night, David marked getting off the charge with a romantic dinner date with his wife Victoria in Paris.
The ex-footballer splashed out on a £1,300 bottle of red wine as they dined at a Parisian restaurant, with Victoria, 44, sharing a snap of the drink on Instagram.
The pair enjoyed a bottle of the French wine, Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, which retails for around £1,300. Sharing a snap of the bottle via her Instagram stories, Victoria captioned the post: ‘Date night last night in Paris.’
Meanwhile, David showed off his snail starter and mouthwatering steak main course.
Shades: The fashion-conscious sportsman tucked a pair of stylish sunglasses into his blazer
It emerged during the hearing that it was the second time in two days Beckham, represented in court by ‘Mr Loophole’ Nick Freeman, had been caught speeding.
The 43-year-old was not at court for the decision yesterday, but after the verdict he said: ‘I am very relieved and very happy with my legal team.’
It comes as lawyer Nick Freeman said that ‘from a moral standpoint’ Beckham should not have been cleared of going almost 20mph over the limit in a £200,000 Bentley.
The former England football captain admitted he was behind the wheel of the car, but escaped punishment after legal papers were served a day too late.
Billions: During the event, he posed for pictures with billionaire art collector Yusaku Maezawa
While Beckham might have escaped legal punishment, social media users were far less forgiving, with some suggesting that he should be barred from a knighthood.
LIbby Kinson wrote: ‘What p****s me off Mr David Beckham is that this happened to my son but we made him own up and pay the penalty, to teach him a lesson.’
Beckham on Thursday posted a picture of himself stuck in London traffic to his 51million Instagram followers.
A camera had caught the father-of-four doing 59mph in a 40mph zone on the A40 near Paddington, central London, on January 23 at around 5.40pm, the court heard.
Soirée: The star arrived solo to the event, which was held in the midst of Paris Fashion Week
However, the judge ruled Beckham was not guilty of the offence as he did not receive the fine within the 14 days as required by law.
Mr Freeman told Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court that his client was failed by ‘the system’.
The lawyer said the so-called ‘notice of intended prosecution’ should have been received by February 6 at the latest because of the two-week statutory limit.
Prosecutors told the court that the document was sent by the Metropolitan Police on February 2, which should have allowed for it to have been received in time.
Fine: The star’s outing came days after he controversially dodged a speeding fine in London
But workers at Bentley Motors Limited, the registered owners of the £200,000 vehicle loaned to Beckham, said it was not received by them until the following day.
Colette Hollies, a legal assistant at Bentley, said she was ‘100 per cent confident’ the letter arrived on February 7 when she stamped the date on the letter.
Mr Freeman said: ‘He [Mr Beckham] has accepted he was driving, he has accepted the speed – that is not in any way in dispute.
‘I realise that may cause some disquiet but that’s a matter for Parliament. This is a statutory issue. If the law needs to be changed, so be it.
Love and marriage: David jetted over to Paris to join his wife, Victoria Beckham, for a romantic meal — hours after he dodged his speeding fine in London
‘It might be that no-one is at fault. There may be inexplicable delays in a sorting office in London or a sorting office in Crewe. It might simply be a fault of the system – we don’t know.’
Mr Freeman also revealed how a speed camera detected the same Bentley car travelling above the speed limit on January 22.
Bentley employees noted that Beckham was the driver of the car at the time and the letter from the Metropolitan Police setting out the offence was received on time.
Mr Freeman said he revealed details in order to prove that prosecution letters could be sent within the 14-day limit but would not reveal what action, if any, it had lead to.
Finest wine: The couple, who have been married for 19 years, enjoyed a bottle of the French wine, Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, which retails for around £1,300
Delicious: Meanwhile, David showed off his snail starter and mouthwatering steak after travelling to French capital earlier in the day
But ruling on the January 23 case, District Judge Barbara Barnes said: ‘What I find is on the balance of probabilities it’s more likely than not that the notice was actually not served on the registered keeper within 14 days as required.’
After the ruling, Beckham boarded the Eurostar to Paris to meet up with wife Victoria for the French capital’s fashion week.
The star faced a backlash as road safety campaigners criticised the decision to hire an expensive lawyer to fight the charge.
My loophole: The dinner date came as lawyer Nick Freeman said ‘from a moral standpoint’ Beckham should not have been cleared of going almost 20mph over the limit
Joshua Harris, from the road safety campaigners Brake, said: ‘It is hugely disappointing to see a role model like David Beckham shirking his responsibility and getting off a speeding prosecution on a mere technicality.’
Mr Freeman, who has trademarked the ‘Mr Loophole’ nickname, has represented a coterie of sporting stars.
Former client include Sir Alex Ferguson as well as former England footballers Frank Lampard and John Terry, and ex-England cricket captain Andrew Flintoff.
London traffic: David posted this picture, which has since been deleted, of himself reclining in a car on Instagram after choosing not to attend his speeding trial