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. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st March 2008, 15:56

    I realise this is a lurid subject and I do want people to be able to discuss it here (elsewhere on the internet these discussions are being closed). But can we please keep it reasonably clean, however strong we disagree on certain points (see the comment policy for more).

    I have had to edit one or two comments above, which I ordinarily don’t like to do, but if I have to I will delete stuff as I’m not a global publishing house with armies of lawyers at my disposal to fight libel suits!

  2. openwheel said on 31st March 2008, 16:00

    The video is gone off of utube here in the states.  We just had a govenor resign for paying for it.  So I guess that what you do in your free time is only applicable to us lowlly masses.  Why would he allow a video camera in the room.  He should resign for sheer stupidity.

  3. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st March 2008, 16:04

    "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by News International Limited"

    Mmm…  irony.

  4. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st March 2008, 16:32

    I have deleted three further comments since my last comment. This blog is not for people to conduct personal arguments with one another.

  5. FLIG said on 31st March 2008, 17:21

    And there it is.
    Sorry, Keith, I tried to make it as impersonal and as related to the subject as I could. But you are right, this is about F1 and Max. Who, I shall say again, I’m not sure should keep his role in F1. But his sexual preferences and ideology should not be the basis to judge his continuity.

  6. Well I can’t wait for some F1 team boss in an arguement with Mosley to use the one liner retort.

    "If you don’t like it Max, spank me!"

    I wonder how quickly fans at F1 races with banners poking fun at Max will be told to take them down vs. the banners in Spain at the practices antagonising Hamilton?

  7. Max Mosley doing something wrong doesn’t mean the ones he punished were not wrong. McLaren is yet, without any doubt, guilty of spionage.

    Anyways I always disliked Max. I hope he’ll quit after that. And I hope Bernie is one of the girls and also resigns :)

  8. Josh J said on 31st March 2008, 17:53

    I’m afraid that  i feel very much that his ideology should be held to account. If the man has prejudices then he should most certainly not be in the position he is. As much as it is not right to judge the son by his father’s sins, his behaviour really does beg some pretty serious questions.

    I mean, there’s "not doing it missionary" as one comment mentioned – and then there is fantasizing being an officer in a concentration camp. Come on, let’s be honest here, it’s truly, deeply disturbing – especially given his background.

    And to echo a sentiment mentioned by ed gorman in his blog, does not the somewhat harsh treatment of Mclaren, the only team to ever have a black driver in their team not take on a whole new context now. I’m afraid there are doubts raised in my mind.

    Out in the real world people lose their jobs for discriminatory behaviour. If you found your boss to be racist, even though he may not overtly show those colours in the workplace, would you really want him to be your boss and in a position of power?? I sincerely hope not. To say that his ideology is simply a fantasy and has no crossover into his "normal" everyday life is kidding ourselves.

  9. Josh J said on 31st March 2008, 18:02

    ps – i find bernie’s comments in response almost more insulting frankly. As usual he’s as tactful as an elephant. But to say that Max is having a laugh and taking the piss, frankly I think that’s a completely disgusting thing to say.

  10. Gman said on 31st March 2008, 18:13

    Josh raises a valid point about the treatment of McLaren coming at the same time as the emegrence of Hamilton as not only the first black driver in F1, but also a global sports superstar. While i’m sure the fines would have also been stiff for any other team involved in that scandal, perhaps there was an extra motivator for Max in that case. And in terms of Bernie’s reaction, he naturally tries to sweep it under the rug- would we expect anything else from the hobbit?
    As  I mentioned earlier, I have never studied British law to any true extent- can any of you tell me if Max has violated any laws by hiring these women?

  11. Full Mosley :-) that’s a good one

  12. FLIG said on 31st March 2008, 18:23

    You see, Keith, it’s hard not to. May I try again? Is my opinion "wrong" and I can’t voice it here or is it ok if I try to be "the other side"? Josh’s comment is what I’m talking about, and though I agree my last comment deserved to be deleted because some of it was getting "personal", most of it was exactly about that.

  13. GARYC said on 31st March 2008, 19:08

    I think it is ironic that the man who has been punishing people for many years for "Bringing the sport into disrepute" for such offenses as being 20 minutes late for a press conference, or wearing an ugly shirt has now seemingly brought more disrepute on F1 than even last year’s nonsense and the FIA’s response to  it.

  14. "As  I mentioned earlier, I have never studied British law to any true extent- can any of you tell me if Max has violated any laws by hiring these women?"

    Well GMan the answer is no. It’s not illegal to pay for sex in the UK. It is ilegal to solicit publicly and it is illegal to ‘live off imoral earnings’ (i.e. run a brothel or be a pimp). But a private arragement between consenting adults is not technically a crime.

    What makes me laugh though – from comments above about the video bein from hidden cameras is the fact that from the newspaper pictures you can clearly see in the mirrors in front of Max as he is getting whipped the reflection of a man in a shirt and tie with a 3/4 length coat on – i.e. a man dressed as a butler. And in other pictures the reflections shows the hookers holding the cameras. So I think Max knew this was being filmed.

    And he called Stewart a ‘certified halfwit’!!  The pot calling the kettle ‘black’?

  15. The sad thing that someone earlier said is that IF (the big if) this story is true then how can Max go to highly religious countries as a representative of the fia – would you like to be seen(if proven) shaking hands with a person who may have lice.
    I’m sorry the man is so sanctimonious – in passing judgement on others it is hard not to enjoy the posibility of him having to resign and go and live in rich exile – wonder how much his wife would receive for a payout – she has been with him a lot longer than heather with macca?
    He has treated people with no past blemishes – except they have critisised him as fools and buffoons – and men who have dedicated their lives to motorsport as liars and thiefs – so no sympathy from me only the question’s when will he go and who will replace him?
    Suggestion – mr todt get ready now – the fia needs you – the quicker the better all round – all assuming the video etc is true of course??

  16. Still doubtful this matter. I´ve seen part of the video on Spanish TV and I couldnt see any racist stuff on there, although speaker said it was a nazist video. In fact looked to me that type of parties that multimillioners have when they are fed up of the so called "normal sex".
    I have to say they did not show the whole video on TV.

    One question, Who gave the video to NOTW?. Is it a vendetta or just a coincidence that this chap was trapped and filmed by someone who saw him on TV and dealt with the paper the price accordingly to the relevence of the subject?

  17. This orgy may not have been illegal, but I suspect that the publication of the video would have broken some rules relating to hard pornography had it been done anywhere other than the internet. For that matter, I’m dubious as to whether this was even Max (though I should clarify that I have deliberately avoided watching the video – it sounds too lewd for my tastes). If it wasn’t, then News International have broken libel laws by attributing these actions to Max. And the News of the World has faked stuff before (notably <a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazher_Mahmood>the "fake sheikh" series of exposés involving – you guessed it – a fake sheikh). While this would be a step beyond even their usual limits, I could imagine a particularly desperate journalist attempting such a "scoop"…

  18. John G said on 31st March 2008, 21:58

    The Spitzer – Mosley parallels are hard to escape.  I’m sad for their families.  But, as Alan pointed out, it’s hard to feel sorry for someone so sanctimonious.  I thought Sir Jackie Stewart was restrained when quoted in Tony Dodgins Autosport column on March 19th as saying " …"I got a handshake from Max the other day, and almost a cuddle! And I mentioned Max in my book…. Once! He said, ‘let’s forget all that. It’s the past.’ He ran into me and he was his gushing self. There’s no conscience there…"

    And no common sense either.  Absolute power ……

  19. Cooperman said on 31st March 2008, 22:10

    Here are a handful of points that I think are worth considering at this time…
    1 – Max Mosely has an immense legal brain. No publication is going to even consider this line of reporting without covering their backsides (if you’ll excuse the pun).

    2 – Max Mosely is (I believe) still in the process of suing The Times for comments made by Martin Brundle suggesting that the FIA’s investigations of McLaren last year were more akin to a witch hunt. Both The Times and The News Of The World are owned by a certain Rupert Murdoch – coincidence??

    3 – Can you see the Kingdom of Bahrain being all that welcoming to Max this weekend? Even moreso, perhaps, the German manufacturers BMW and Mercedes, and the organisers of the German Grand Prix later this year?

    To my mind, Mosley’s position is untenable.

  20. Cooperman said on 31st March 2008, 22:13

    .. and just to cover my own backside there, and prevent Keith from getting into trouble, I have no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Rupert Murdoch would purposely target Max Mosley in response to another of his publications being the subject of legal action.

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