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Inside David Beckham's $18.8 Million 2022 Lawsuit Against Mark Wahlberg's Fitness Company F45

The case is scheduled to go to trial in January 2025

<p>Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty; Theo Wargo/Getty</p>

Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty; Theo Wargo/Getty

David Beckham's Oct. 2022 lawsuit against Mark Wahlberg's fitness company F45 for breach of contract is bubbling up again this week after lawyers made an administrative change to the documents.

Beckham is suing F45 for a total of $18.8 million for breach of contract over a promotional deal the English athlete entered with F45 in 2020, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.

The lawsuit — which was moved to California's federal court in May 2023 — all began in 2020 when the former soccer star, 48, claimed that he did not receive compensation that he was owed for a partnership with the global fitness studio F45, which is co-owned by Wahlberg. The suit claims that with Beckham's help, the company benefitted from his relationship by enhancing their reputation.


The following year, the company went public, with an evaluation nearly three times higher than it had two years earlier, according to the court documents. But Beckham claims he's still owed $14.3 million in damages, and is entitled to $4.5 million for declaratory relief under his contract.

In July 2022, legal representation for Beckham's company DBVL sent a notice of breach of contract to F45, providing 30 days to “cure the breach,” but it was not resolved by August. Two months later, the lawsuit was filed.

A court date is now set to begin trial on January 25, 2025.

Here’s what we know.

<p>Ethan Miller - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty; Paul Citone/Variety via Getty</p>

Ethan Miller - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty; Paul Citone/Variety via Getty

Who's suing who?

Beckham is suing fitness company F45, which is co-owned by Wahlberg. Wahlberg bought a 36% stake in the company in 2019.

Founded in 2012 in Australia, F45 offers 45-minute, intense fitness workouts complete with in-studio trainers. It has over 2,000 studios worldwide, according to it's website. In 2017, former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens sued the company for failing to pay him more than $700,000 for a promotional video, according the lawsuit obtained by PEOPLE.

Beckham’s legal team claims his involvement in the 2020 partnership with F45 “enhanced its public profile and credibility and helped roll out new fitness offerings for F45.” Although Beckham claims he completed his part in the deal, he alleges F45 and the actor did not uphold their end in return.

Beckham claims F45 failed to follow through in transferring nearly one million shares of stock in a timely manner, and that there are $5 million worth of additional shares that he never received, per the complaint. He alleges the delay in transferring the initial shares cost him $9.3 million, since the stock price dropped.

“As F45’s business began to falter in 2022 due to fiscal mismanagement and macroeconomic pressures, F45 withheld millions of dollars in contractually obligated consideration,” Beckham’s complaint reads.

In their response, F45 disputed Beckham’s claims and wrote, “The Complaint fails to state any viable breach of contract claim.”

What is the lawsuit about?

According to the filing, Beckham’s company, DB Ventures Limited, was supposed to receive “nearly 1 million shares of stock” from F45 within 6 months of it going public. However, the shares were late and not “freely transferable," per the complaint.

The lawsuit claims F45 went public “with a valuation nearly three times higher than it had two years earlier,” which is why Beckham receiving the stock shares months later was not sufficiently abiding by the contractual agreement.

<p>Rick Kern/Getty; Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage</p>

Rick Kern/Getty; Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

This caused, according to the complaint, DBVL to “remain invested in a rapidly declining asset with no recourse.” The suit further claims that the shares were conveyed to Beckham eight months late and had lost $9.3 million in value. Beckham’s lawyers say additional shares worth $5 million were owed to his company were allegedly not provided either.

F45's response filed on Feb. 16, 2023 in Calif. claims that their company didn't know exactly how many shares to issue until the date it published. They say it's because the company had to "issue a percentage of the moving target — the outstanding shares in existence on that date—and only from that date forward could it pursue the time-consuming process of SEC registration of that exact number of shares.”

Their attorneys further explain if their clients had issued the shares within the six month period, it would have “violated federal securities laws, as stocks cannot be freely transferrable until their registration becomes effective.”

What are the damages sought?

Beckham is seeking damages that total $14.3 million, not including interest. The lawsuit claims that F45 are contractually obligated to pay a remaining balance of $4.5 million — the total funds for 2023, 2024 and 2025 — to DBVL by December 5, 2025 as well, because his contract provides him $1.5 million per year.

Beckham is also asking that the defendants pay his legal fees acquired from the case.

F45 and Wahlberg requested for the case to be dropped previously, but the request was not granted.

<p>Rick Kern/Getty; Gareth Cattermole/BAFTA/Getty</p>

Rick Kern/Getty; Gareth Cattermole/BAFTA/Getty

What have David Beckham and Mark Wahlberg said?

Neither party has spoken out on the case, but in Wahlberg and F45’s response to the suit, they claim the company upheld its contractual obligations. PEOPLE has reached out to both reps and attorneys, with no response.

“The Complaint admits that F45 issued 1% of its outstanding stock to DBVL as of the First Vesting Date and, from that date forward, it fulfilled its contractual obligation," the response reads. "To ‘procure’ the registration of those same shares so that they would become freely transferrable."

“That is all the contract’s terms required.”

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Read the original article on People.