David Beckham, meet Freedom of the Press.
A federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed the British soccer stud's defamation lawsuit against In Touch Weekly's publisher Monday, ruling that Beckham's legal team didn't produce evidence that the magazine acted with actual malice in running a story alleging the L.A. Galaxy midfielder had multiple encounters with a $10,000-per-hour call-girl.
Not that Beckham won't try to get a few penalty kicks in...
"Bauer [Publishing Co.] do not dispute for purposes of this motion that their story is false," Beckham's rep said in a statement to E! News. "They have not provided one shred of evidence to support the claim this story is true. David Beckham's clear evidence proved that this is without foundation."
Beckham's lawyers filed a declaration from the very married Brit proclaiming his innocence, as well as a motion detailing his actions when call-girl Irma Nici claimed that they were meeting in London and New York for expensive trysts.
"We have already won a court ruling in Germany and are awaiting damages," his rep continued. "Unfortunately, the U.S. legal system requires us to show that the magazine acted maliciously. Any knowledgeable person knows this story not to be true, and we will continue to fight this in court and the decision will be appealed."
It tends to be much easier for celebrities to win libel cases and collect damages in Europe, where the burden is on the defendant to prove that whatever they wrote is true. In the United States, federal law places the burden on the plaintiff to prove that the defendant knowingly and recklessly printed false information.
And, the L.A. judge said, considering Beckham is an international superstar, the possibility that he committed adultery would be of public interest, another winning point for the publisher.
In the meantime, the Beckhams are expecting their fourth child together and are currently in England, where David is training with the Premier League club Tottenham until Feb. 22.
--Additional reporting by Ashley Fultz