David Beckham sues Mark Wahlberg over $14M loss in F45 gym endorsement

FILE - David Beckham has sued Mark Wahlberg and the founders of F45 fitness over claims he was 'duped' into signing an endorsement deal. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images & Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

David Beckham has filed a lawsuit against former friend Mark Wahlberg over an 8.5-million pound (over C$14.3 million) business dispute surrounding the gym brand F45 Training, which Wahlberg partially owns.

Beckham’s company DB Ventures claimed the owners of F45, a popular high-intensity cardio gym, “duped” the sports star into signing an endorsement deal.

Beckham, 48, filed the lawsuit in the US District Court of California in May 2023, though it was first reported by TMZ this week.

Mark Wahlberg Investment Group was sued, alongside F45 founders Adam Gilchrist and Rob Deutsch.

FILE – Mark Wahlberg hosts the opening of F45 Training at Miramar MCAs, the first fitness franchise on a U.S. military base on June 11, 2021, in San Diego, Calif. Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for F45 Training

The former pro soccer player accused F45 of “fraudulent conduct” and said Beckham was misled during business meetings, as reported by the Independent and other outlets that obtained the court filings.

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Beckham argued he is owed stock in F45, which he said was never delivered after the company’s market value began to tank in the New York Stock Exchange.

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He initially agreed to serve as F45’s global ambassador after befriending Wahlberg, 52, when both actors lived in Los Angeles. The partnership was revealed in 2021 and Beckham was featured in a number of photos, which he and F45 shared separately, endorsing the gym. The images have been removed online by both parties.

David Beckham and TV personality Tyler Cameron attend the David Beckham and F45 Training Launch on May 9, 2022, in Miami. Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for F45 Training

Neither of the A-listers has commented publicly on their legal dispute.

Wahlberg and the F45 founders have reportedly filed a motion to dismiss Beckham’s lawsuit.

“The 209-page, 610-paragraph SAC (complaint) tries to make up with length what it lacks in merit,” the defendants motion argued, according to Fox Sports.

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Wahlberg, who was an early financial backer of F45, became the company’s chief brand officer in 2023. Earlier in 2019, he became a minority shareholder when he purchased a stake in the company through his investment group.

F45 was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in August 2023 after share prices fell below US$1.

Beckham originally attempted to sue F45 jointly with entrepreneur and former pro golfer Greg Norman in 2022, though the men were court ordered to submit separate lawsuits.

Like Beckham, Norman said he was misled into becoming a brand ambassador for F45 Training.

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In 2017, former NFL receiver Terrell Owens sued F45 over claims the company owed him US$700,000 in unpaid wages.

According to the company’s website, F45 is “a global fitness community specializing in innovative, high intensity group workouts that are fast, fun and results-driven.”

F45 was founded in Australia in 2013. The company says it now has more than 3,300 studios in more than 67 countries.

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