Soccer superstar David Beckham (search) and his wife, Victoria -- aka Posh Spice -- were pictured in Tuesday's British newspapers frolicking in the snow at a French ski resort after reports surfaced that he had an affair with his former personal assistant.
"We have been through a lot worse that this, and we're definitely going to get through this," Victoria Beckham was quoted as saying in The Sun.
A Sunday newspaper reported the England soccer captain and Real Madrid (search) star had a sexual relationship with Rebecca Loos in Madrid between September and December while his pop star wife was in England. Loos worked for Beckham's management company, SFX Group, and acted as his assistant in Madrid until he cut ties with the firm in December.
The British press has often portrayed the Beckhams' almost five-year marriage as close to perfect, lauding them as the nation's "golden couple," deeply in love and doting parents to their two young sons.
But since David Beckham left England's Manchester United last summer to play for Spain's superstar-packed Real Madrid team, "Posh & Becks" have had to fend off accusations that trouble was looming.
The News of the World printed racy, but heavily edited, mobile phone text messages that it said David Beckham and Loos sent one another.
Beckham, who also captains England's national soccer team, said in a statement Sunday that his marriage was happy, he had a wonderful family and "there is nothing that any third party can do to change these facts."
"During the past few months I have become accustomed to reading more and more ludicrous stories about my private life," the statement said. "What appeared this morning is just one further example."
The statement stopped short, however, of denying that an affair took place.
Photos of the smiling couple Beckhams cuddling and playing in the snow — in one the athlete gave his wife a piggyback ride — made the front pages of all Britain's tabloids. They were vacationing in Courchevel, in the French Alps.
"Together!" The Sun's front page headline chirped. "The Beckhams show they are still so in love today," said the Daily Express.
Others were more skeptical.
"Aren't they lovey-dovey. But as Posh and Becks stage this soppy picture, will new sex revelations leave her sick as a parrot?" the Daily Mail wondered.
Beckham has become a cultural icon as well as a sports star, and his fame extends across the globe. He drew throngs of excited fans on a promotional trip to Asia last year and was chased by screaming Japanese fans everywhere he went during the 2002 World Cup there.
Fans follow the ever-changing style of his long blond hair, and his interest in fashion has shattered macho athletic stereotypes. He loves to show off designer duds and eye-catching jewelry and, on at least one occasion, bright pink nail polish. He's also been photographed wearing a sarong.
Questions about the state of Beckham's marriage have abounded since his move to Spain. Victoria Beckham, a former member of the Spice Girls pop band, splits her time between Spain and Britain. She has been working hard to rekindle her flagging pop career while caring for the couple's two young sons, Brooklyn, 5, and Romeo, 18 months.
"Contrary to newspaper reports, our marriage is not in crisis," the couple said in a September 2003 statement. "Since we first met, our careers have always meant we have spent time apart. This is not a reflection on the strength of our marriage."
Despite the new accusations of infidelity, some tabloids seemed reluctant to see their clean-cut hero tarred by the charges.
Daily Mirror columnist Tony Parsons wrote that it wasn't clear if the infidelity claim was true, but if it was, he was ready to blame anyone but Beckham — including the athlete's wife, whom Parsons accused of having a "casual attitude" to the marriage.
Her refusal to move full time to Spain and insistence on pursuing her own career made things difficult for her husband, Parsons opined.
"The strongest marriage in the country was abruptly turned into a long-distance relationship," he wrote. "If (the charge) is true, blame force of circumstance. ... The desperate acts of a lonely man who misses his wife, his family and his country."