Max Mosley yet to respond to lurid sex video claims in British newspaper

Max Mosley, FIA Gala, 2006, 470150

You might be wondering why I’ve taken so long to respond to the sordid allegations about Max Mosley’s private life in today’s News of the World.

Well, first of all, I’ve been at Brands Hatch watching the touring cars all day! But more importantly, this is a shocking story and I thought it wise to take time over my response.

If you’re after the gory details you can find the story here and (if you really must) there’s even a video. The first thing to acknowledge is there’s been no official reaction from Mosley as yet.

Although other British newspapers have quickly picked up the story, the silence on the major F1 news sites is deafening. At the time of writing Autosport.com, Pitpass.com, Grandprix.com, Crash.net and many others have not mentioned it.

It’s all over the forums and blogs, of course. The Times’s writer Ed Gorman asks if Mosely can survive, Ollie at BlogF1 expects fall-out for either Mosley or the News of the World and Axis asks if it’s linked to McLaren being moved down the pit lane (hmm…).

Outside Britain it’s already being reported in Germany and Italy.

Shortly after the story was published the link to it on the News of the World’s website stopped working, suggesting it had been taken down. However it is now available once again.

There’s not much to be added to the story until a confession or denial is issued. I can’t claim to be an expert on assessing whether videos and photographs have been faked or not.

The News of the World’s story makes a lot of references to ‘Nazi-style’ behaviour, but it’s not clear from the evidence whether that’s actually an accurate description. British tabloids do like to link anything even remotely unseemly with Nazism, as the Daily Star did with the Lewis Hamilton racism story. Given the fascist past of Mosley’s family, it’s an obvious connection to make.

But even the the ‘Nazi’ angle is fantasy, the other details (assuming they are true) will be considered by many to be sufficiently unpleasant to make Mosley’s position untenable.

The News of the World is owned by News Corporation, which is the parent company of the Sunday Times. That newspaper faces a lawsuit instigated by Mosley following Martin Brundle’s reportage of the McLaren-Ferrari spy scandal. The News of the World is known for running such exposes including a series of scoops landed by Mazher Mahmood (the ‘Fake Sheikh‘).

It’s important to remember that at this stage nothing has been proved. But as last year McLaren were thrown out of the constructors’ championship for breaching article 151 (c) of the International Sporting Code (“acts prejudicial [...] to the interests of motor sport generally”), then even though this rule does not apply to Mosley, the principle should.

In the meantime he is understood to be consulting his lawyers. Check back for further updates as the story develops.

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70 comments on Max Mosley yet to respond to lurid sex video claims in British newspaper

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  1. Ronan said on 30th March 2008, 21:10

    Unless the story is proved fake I really don’t see how he can avoid having to resign. Bizzare stuff.

  2. Tim B said on 30th March 2008, 21:42

    Unfortunately!  this seems to good to be true. Mind you if you research his parents…..  "the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree"

  3. Rob R. said on 30th March 2008, 21:55

    If the Nazi/Holocaust element of the story is true, then this is seriously one of the sickest sex scandals to ever to involve a  public figure that I can recall. And I can’t think of any other story that could be more damaging to F1 right now. This is truly repulsive stuff.

  4. Wesley said on 30th March 2008, 22:08

    I can’t believe anyone would be stupid enough to record this if they did do it.

    WEIRD !!!

  5. Toby said on 30th March 2008, 22:21

    Having previously worked in the Adult industry, I find myself unsurprised that Max might be into this sort of thing. It seems to be a by-product of powerful people that they need this kind of release.
    I don’t think it should affect his position when a sneaky person publishes some private moments Max had with other consenting adults. If someone filmed my wife and I through a window, should I have to resign from my job because we were not "doin’ it missionary"?

  6. Loki said on 30th March 2008, 22:48

    I’m somewhat of the same opinion as Toby – what a person does in their own spare time and as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, or is malicious, then thats their own business.  I agree that the context seems very insensitive, however it could be taken out of context by the publisher – it is News of The World. 

    I wouldn’t say this behaviour comes out as the Max Moseley the public know, and I don’t think it directly affects his ability to do his job (which how well he does is a completely different matter).  I think a lot of people have their little kinky secrets that don’t necessarily mean anything other just a fantasy that could be healthy to a person to be acted out with other consenting adults.  I guess in this case he may have hurt his wife by her discovering this through the media…

    I certainly do not agree with his antics, or the context in question, but I do not see anything fundamentally wrong at this point knowing just what I’ve read.  However, this is society, and the unofficial rule tends to be that it’ll be time to go.

    I’m not trying to defend or implicate Max Moseley either way by saying this, but it’s so easy just to jump on the bandwagon.

    Did anyone write in their "what gate" predictions for 2008, Moseley-gate?  Only the 2nd race in as well…

  7. Peter Boyle said on 30th March 2008, 23:29

    Mosely interview, "f1 official website".

    http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2008/1/7286.html

    "
    Q: Will we see a scandal-free 2008 season?
    MM:
    I hope so. But it is not in my hands.
    "

    Just whose hands was it in :)

  8. Peter Boyle said on 30th March 2008, 23:34

    p.s.
    I sure hope Maclaren haven’t handed over a single
    penny of their fine yet. I’d like to see Moseley’s successor
    arguing his judgement was not impaired of late.

  9. Pink Peril said on 31st March 2008, 0:10

    I didn’t know what the story was as it hasn’t been picked up in Oz, so I clicked on the link and now I really wish I hadn’t :(
    Thats gonna take the nights sleep off me.

    As regards to Toby’s comments – I agree that whatever one does in the privacy of their own home with consenting adults should not affect their professional life. However, given Mad Max’s family history, to mock Jewish victims of Nazi’s is particularly distasteful and demonstrates a severe lack of judgement on his part. Do we want someone with such poor decision making skills running F1?

  10. ben j said on 31st March 2008, 0:56

    If it’s true, I believe this might be the worst thing you can do in the world without committing a crime.

  11. His sexual preferences are his private matter … But … the shocking part in this story are not the working ladies but the theme of that "party" especially given the family history…

    The video or the pictures are not exactly clear so hard to tell if that really is Mosley or only his look alike. But I somehow do not believe anyone would dare to run a story like this about a powerful person if it were fabrications … Well let’s see. But whether it is real or not, it looks like Mosleygate is here …

  12. I am sickened.

    I believe that what happens behind closed doors is one’s own business — unless it harms another without his/her permission.

    That’s in theory, however; because, in application, it’s never that simple.

    What bothers me about this, if I am to separate my personal feelings from my "professional" feelings, is that the link between F1/Ecclestone (and Mosley, obviously,) to entirely un- and anti-democratic politics and regimes isn’t just disturbing on an economic level. It’s also alarming on a humanitarian level.

    Let us not forget the Cold War, spies and the ballet …

    Let us not forget how, in the past and present, money and/or "prestige" has allowed those with myopic views to pretend otherwise for the purpose of "naked diplomacy" … and yet, that "diplomatic immunity" alone has simultaneously allowed these same megalomaniacs to subvert the freedom and human kindnesses necessary to create within this world a place for ALL us to LIVE, much less thrive.

    Do I care what Mosely’s done in the "bedroom"?  Ugh … no — though it disgusts me to an extreme.

    Do I care what this apparently deep-seeded perversity means in terms of the way his personal attitudes bleed into his professional decisions?

    If you look at the direction of F1 in terms of anti-democratic associations of late?

    YES.

  13. Mark said on 31st March 2008, 1:11

    The Australian news sites have picked it up and started to run the story. http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,23458404-5001021,00.html 

    I like the phot0-shopped hat!

  14. I have long refrained in citing his father’s fascist background even when tempted by his dictatorial high handed manner in dealing as the FIA president. I will continue to do so until the authenticity of the video is proven.

    But there is no doubt others will not be as reluctant as I, and if the tape is authenticated, and if the newly proven half-wit Max Mosley doesn’t have the common sense to resign, the FIA need to give him the jack boot to his freshly scarred bottom. On second thought just show him the door, he might enjoy the boot and decide to stay for more!

    As far as his personal sex life remaining personal, his willingness to cheat on his marital vows displays a moral terpitude that contradicts his stance last year with McLaren. He has uncovered his two faced nature and he no longer deserves the trust of the sport. He lost his respect last year.

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