LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Maybe it was Posh’s hair, her high-fashion style, the meager five goals from David or simply a lack of time.
But after the excitement over the arrival in Los Angeles of British soccer star David Beckham and his wife, Victoria (“Posh Spice”), almost two years ago, the Hollywood celebrity scene is shedding few tears over their expected departure.
“Their impact was hugely anti-climactic for me,” said Ted Casablanca, online columnist for celebrity show E! “Hollywood should have kept Posh and Becks as a fantasy, because in reality they didn’t pan out.”
Beckham, who has a five-year deal worth an estimated $250 million with the Los Angeles Galaxy, joined the Major League Soccer club in June 2007 amid a wave of publicity and enthusiasm about helping raise soccer’s profile in America.
But after an injury-plagued first season and a total of five goals during his time with the Galaxy, Beckham, 33, made clear this week he wanted to make a permanent move to Italian club AC Milan, where he is on a two-month loan.
Milan has not yet made an offer but lawyers on both sides are exploring the best way forward.
The news made the inside pages of the Los Angeles Times sports section and barely a mention in celebrity magazines.
Household names in Britain and the rest of Europe, the Beckhams struggled to translate their appeal to star-heavy Los Angeles and a celebrity media obsessed with the antics of Britney Spears and the expanding family of Angelina Jolie.
Victoria Beckham’s passion for high heels and tight black dresses were at odds with LA’s laid-back flip flops and sweatpants, and earned her the epithet of worst dressed-celebrity of 2007 by style maven Mr. Blackwell.
Bonnie Fuller, former editor of Us Weekly, said she loved Posh, 34, and her style, but felt the average American did not relate to the former “Spice Girls” singer.
“She didn’t have enough hair,” Fuller said of Victoria’s Beckham’s short mane, which she cropped further last year.
“American women are big hair girls. They want celebrities with long, sexy hair which they can aspire to. Posh is also superglam most days, all day, and American women relate much more to Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie’s uniform of jeans, T-shirts and sexy little sweaters.”
Fuller, who now runs Bonnie Fuller Media, said time was also a factor. “In America it takes time for your star to build, especially if you are not on a regular TV show or starring in a hit movie. And professional soccer still doesn’t get that much national attention,” she said.
Victoria Beckham landed a cameo acting role — as herself — in an episode of the TV comedy “Ugly Betty” in 2007, did an advertising campaign for fashion designer Marc Jacobs and both Beckhams made waves stripping down for an Emporio Armani underwear advertising campaign.
They struck up a friendship with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, but never appeared on the biggest red carpet of them all — the Oscars — and not a whiff of scandal marked their LA adventure.
Casablanca said Victoria Beckham seemed nervous and timid. “It was as if now she’d got to Hollywood, she was afraid people would see she didn’t have what it takes once she was up among the big guns,” he said.
Hollywood PR veteran Howard Bragman said the Beckhams may have seen the lack of intense scrutiny as a plus. “I’m not sure if they chose to not be that social or if it was because there are so many other celebrities in Los Angeles.”
“I think their careers are just fine. I think they both have had enough publicity for 10 lifetimes and I don’t think not getting it is something they go home and commiserate about,” said Bragman, author of “Where’s My 15 Minutes?”
Editing by Peter Cooney