Tuesday 20 March 2018

Beckham's brother-in-law: Boss tried to use my star connection

Victoria's sister Louise Adams (above). Photo: Getty Images
Victoria's sister Louise Adams (above). Photo: Getty Images
David Beckham. Photo: Getty Images

David Beckham's brother-in-law was forced out of his City job for not arranging meetings for clients with the star and his family, a tribunal heard.

Darren Flood, 32, who married Victoria's sister Louise in 2009 in a lavish ceremony at the Beckhams' Hertfordshire mansion, was asked by his boss Tony Herbert to use the relationship to arrange trips to Los Angeles and Milan and, when he didn't, told him he "wasn't good enough" to be a part of the famous family, it was alleged.

Mr Flood, who has an Indian grandfather, said he was also racially bullied and taunted and "belittled" by Herbert about his background - who "insisted" he was in charge of ordering takeaways for colleagues if it was curry and said he was going to buy him a beaded car seat "like Indian cab driver".

The broker, who had worked for consulting firm BCG International since he was 18, told the East London tribunal the bullying increased after he raised issues about alleged "dodgy" trading practices within the company, to which they apparently turned a "blind eye".

Mr Flood was also struggling financially, having complained about the level of bonus he was receiving.

When the taunts eventually got on top of him and he handed in his resignation, he was eventually offered a salary of £75,000 with a Christmas bonus of £25,000 if he stayed on for another three years.

However, he refused as, having already had three children with Louise, he was "already breaking into savings to survive."

Reading his witness statement to the tribunal Mr Flood, who was supported by his wife Louise and Louise and Victoria's father, said: "My partner and I got together in 2007.

"My sister and brother-in-law are Victoria and David Beckham, a fact which is well known in the company. Tony Herbert knew this and attempted to use it to the advantage of the clients, asking for trips to Los Angeles and Milan.

"I didn't want to exploit the relationship and would said I would see what I could do. When it never took place he took to belittling me and saying I was not good enough for the family."

Referring to the alleged racist abuse, Mr Flood continued: "Tony Herbert frequently referred to my Indian heritage.

"It was not unusual for the desk to order a takeaway on Fridays and he always insisted I order it if it was a curry. He told me he was going to get a beaded car seat like Indian cab drivers."

He further referred to numerous occasions where he was called a c**t by Herbert, at one point in front of the entire office.

After Herbert had screamed, 'f**k you, you c**t, all pay rises are off the table" he said: "I took this to be the final straw.

"I had told him before not to use such language, but he had not done so. I felt completely undermined. I felt that I could not continue to work for this man.

"I have thought about this a lot and with the benefit of hindsight I believe that after failing to introduce clients to the benefits of Mr and Mrs Beckham, Tony Herbert wanted me out.

"[The respondent] is saying alleging that offensive language is commonplace in the industry. That to a certain extent is true. It is not the language that caused me offence, it was the fact that it was aimed directly at me. I do not believe any employee should be subject to racism, no matter how much they are being paid.

After working for the company for 11 years, Mr Flood eventually handed in his resignation on November 3rd, 2008, and raised his formal grievance in March the next year.

Mr Flood, of Loughton, Essex, is claiming unfair dismissal. The company denies all the allegations.

The hearing continues.

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