David Beckham's libel claim against celebrity magazine In Touch has been thrown out by a US federal judge.
The former England captain was seeking damages of $25 million (£15.5 million) from the magazine after they printed a story that alleged her had an affair with a former prostitute called Irma Nici, 26. Beckham has always denied the allegations, saying he was in England at the time of the alleged affair visiting his sick father.
Beckham's lawyer, Richard Kendall, said a basic investigation by the magazine would have revealed that the story was not true. He wanted the judge, Manuel Real, to allow the case to proceed so that he could obtain depositions in order to help with the LA Galaxy star's case.
The judge did not allow the case to continue on the basis that Beckham, 35, had not been able to establish that In Touch acted with "acute malice"; an element of libel that must be fulfilled under US defamation law when the claimant is a public figure.
Libel law in the US is considered to be more favourable towards defendants, especially when it comes to public personalities, such as famous sportsmen and celebrities.
This is in stark contrast to defamation law in the UK which is considered to be celebrity claimant friendly, so much so that London is known as the 'celebrity defamation capital of the world'.
Beckham's publicist said: "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."
Read more on David Beckham's libel claim (Guardian)
What is defamation? (FindLaw)
Find local defamation solicitors in the UK (FindLaw)