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The BBC's Carole Jones
"Lawyers from all parties are locked in negotiations in a bid to settle this matter amicably"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 29 August, 2000, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Beckhams' court case adjourned
David and Victoria Beckham
The couple are planning to publish their own book
The High Court case brought by David and Victoria Beckham against biographer Andrew Morton has been adjourned until Wednesday.

The celebrity couple launched the action against Mr Morton after claiming information about them was passed onto him by their former bodyguard Mark Niblett.

They say Mr Niblett was in breach of a confidentiality clause in his employment contract and want the material banned.

Mr Justice Evans-Lombe heard the Beckhams had seen a final 60,000 word manuscript of the book - entitled Posh and Becks - and were objecting to around 2,500 words.

The case was adjourned to allow the judge more time to study the manuscript himself.

Mr Morton maintained he did not use most of the information provided by Mr Niblett and what he did include was either not confidential or already in the public domain.

Geoffrey Robertson QC, for Mr Morton and publisher Michael O'Mara Books, said both sides were in discussions which would hopefully see areas of disagreement "narrowed if not resolved entirely".

He urged the judge to read as much of the book as possible, pointing out: "You can't judge a book by its cover or by bits and pieces of it.

"The argument for publication is the public interest argument, namely that the public are entitled to know the truth."

Mr Niblett, 40, is bound by an undertaking not to speak to or provide any further information to the writer.

Michael Tugendhat QC, for the Beckhams, said: "We say this is a a very bad case of disloyalty and breach of confidentiality on the part of a former employee, very bad indeed, and not very much better on the part of the author and publisher."

Mr Morton and Michael O'Mara have given a temporary pledge not to publish anything or receive any information from Mr Niblett - except through solicitors to contest the couple's claim.

The court has heard the Beckhams are planning to publish their own book in the autumn.

The hearing will resume on Wednesday morning.

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Just an ordinary couple?
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