04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
British football star David Beckham and his wife, Victoria Beckham (better known as Posh Spice), were in a British court yesterday to stop their ex-bodyguard Mark Niblett, 40, from exposing their private lives in a new tell-all book by Andrew Morton, author of a bestseller on the late Princess Diana. Reuters reports that both sides sought an out-of-court settlement rather than face a protracted formal battle, and that Justice Evans Lombe was informed that the Beckhams had withdrawn some -- but not all -- of their objections over the 60,000-word manuscript. (They're still carping over some 2,500 words, says the news service.) Their lawyer, Michael Tugendhat, told the bench, "We say this is a very bad case of disloyalty on the part of a former employee." Lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, representing both Morton and his publisher, countered that the public was "entitled to know the truth" about the Beckhams.