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

  1. Pink Peril said on 31st March 2008, 2:00

    "the newly proven half-wit Max Mosley "

    Surely you jest, GeorgeK?

  2. Pink Peril, I was merely paraphrasing Max’s derisive comments against Sir Jackie Stewart, a man I happen to greatly admire for many reasons.

    If the video is true can there be any doubt Max is a half wit???

  3. Bernie apparently does not think this is a problem …

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/formula_1/article3649197.ece

  4. Gman said on 31st March 2008, 3:58

    As soon as I read this, my mind went back to that interview Keith posted before the season in which Bernie said that F1 needed more sex scandals- do any of you think this was what he had in mind? 

    Perhaps it’s true that whatever Max dose in his time is his business. However, when themes such as the ones he apparently indulged in are involved and it becomes public, it can only invite a firestorm of public outcry when the person involved is in such a pubicly prominent position.

    Personally, I have lost all respect for Max. The theme involved with the acts is one of complete disgust, and one that many brave men and women from both the UK and the United States gave their lives to bring to a stop. My grandfather, serving in the US 29th infantry during the war, passed through several concentration camps and never forgot the horrors he saw, even many weeks after they had been liberated.

    Finally, forgive me if I sound too old-fashioned, but this whole mess also obviously involves him cheating on his wife of many years, and his hiring of prostitutes may have broken laws dealing with that sort of thing- i’m not sure of this aspect as i’ve never studied any sort of British law.

    All in all, shameful behavior form someone in such a prominent and responsible position.

  5. Mark said on 31st March 2008, 4:01

    Just quietly,

    This came RIGHT out of left field! Who would have thought eh!

  6. Pink Peril said on 31st March 2008, 4:47

    Ah sorry GeorgeK – if you’d said ‘certified’ then I would’ve gotten the reference immediately ;)

    My, my good news travels fast. Mad Max’s sexcapades are now the Number 1 most viewed article on The Age website.

    Thanks for the link Milos – I found Bernie’s comments to be very disturbing – almost as disturbing as the act itself. A joke? Taking the piss? Sick sense of humour you have there then, Bernie.

  7. Alan D said on 31st March 2008, 7:12

    For once, Holocaust was some decades ago and Germans themselves are ashamed about their history. Religious violence is nothing new, in-fact Christianity and Islam are the only two religions, which have been propagated by the sword(claiming the largest number of lives by any other reason than natural causes). By that account, most of us would have some association/relation with a murderer. Past is just that, past! We live now in the 21st century, so we better act like it now.

    On the subject, Mosley has done a lot for the sport in the recent years. Though meddling with the regulations has not made a big fan out of me. I agree with Toby fully… what i do in my bedroom, should not really matter to others. Kimi did fiddle with his gearstick in his Macca days, but, that did not make him any less capable a driver.

  8. … and now Planet F1 mentioned the story :-)

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st March 2008, 8:09

    I think the "what someone does in their private life is their own business" arguments are difficult to call until it’s established for sure exactly what he’s done. He may be guilty, or it may all be an elaborate hoax – the charges are so incredible I wouldn’t rule anything out at this stage.

    I do agree that sometimes the media gets in a froth about stories that really aren’t their business – Lewis Hamilton moving to Switzerland, for example…

  10. Oliver said on 31st March 2008, 10:06

    Seeing that he still has his old engine firing on all cylinders, its no surprise then he is calling for a freeze on engine development.

  11. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st March 2008, 10:19

    I did write another post on this which was online this morning but has now disappeared. This was due to a technical fault on the site.

    The basic gist of the post was that while many newspapers had run articles on the allegations, many F1 sites had not. However I now see several F1 sites are running the story. Nevertheless I’m hoping to restore the post later today.

    However I see Autosport have upset their forum readers by closing its thread on Mosley.

  12. Michael K said on 31st March 2008, 10:26

    What ever this is, it surely is unbelievably hilarious!! Let’s see when Bernie drops him like a hot potato…

  13. Richard C said on 31st March 2008, 10:56

    Assuming the evidence is not falsified then Mosley has no alternative but to resign. His judgement  and credibility have been irreparably damaged by this. It does prove you can be absolutely useless at your job and keep it but undermine your employer  by personal actions and you’re gone.

    I wish we had a word for Schadenfreude perhaps Max knows one.

  14. ninguen said on 31st March 2008, 11:28

    I´m of the opinion that whatever does Max in his spare time has nothing to do with his ability to manage his job. I don´t think he is obtainig the pleasure thinking in the suffering of all the people that were on nazi concentration camps. If the chicks were suited like bunnies but they were doing the same it would be such a scandal?
    I think max has enough reasons to leave by his incompetence and nothing about this should be a better reason to force his retirement, he is bad at directing the f1 and i would be very happy to see his closet closed of  this stuff

  15. Michael K said on 31st March 2008, 11:43

    Well, there is a distinct difference between bunnies and prisoners. There is the very real possibility that he gets off on punishing prisoners, which in itself is already a pretty sick mindset, let alone without the possible connection to the nazis.

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