David Beckham attracted Hollywood stars the same way he draws defenders on the soccer field in large numbers. A glittery array of Oscar winners and entertainment world luminaries turned out for what was billed as an official welcome-to-Los Angeles party for the international soccer icon and his wife, pop singer Victoria.
With Tom Cruise and Will Smith playing co-hosts for the invitation-only bash at the Museum of Contemporary Art's Geffen Contemporary gallery, the guest list was long and deep. Director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer were among the first to arrive. Brooke Shields was there.
star Eva Longoria showed up, followed by
creator Simon Fuller, who managed the Spice Girls pop group that launched Victoria Beckham to fame.
Wesley Snipes and Quincy Jones came to welcome the 32-year-old soccer star, as did Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy stopped to pose for the throng of international paparazzi. Others expected to drop in included George Clooney and Steven Spielberg.
The Beckhams arrived with Cruise, accompanied by wife Katie Holmes, and Smith, with his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. The six stars locked arms and smiled at the cameras before disappearing inside. Cruise flew in for the bash from Germany, where he is shooting his newest film.
<b1>For the British Beckhams, it was a taste of classic Hollywood. A red carpet was rolled out at the entrance. A small army of police patrolled streets for blocks, keeping gawkers at a distance. There were limousines and TV cameras by the dozen. Helicopters thumped overhead.
Inside, the warehouse-like venue was transformed with couches, elaborate lighting and floral arrangements into a glitzy nightclub. Music blared.
Beckham, hindered by a nagging ankle injury, played only 12 minutes in his debut Saturday as a Los Angeles Galaxy player. The Galaxy lost to Chelsea 1-0, but that didn't dampen the spirits of the sold-out crowd, whose cheers were so loud Beckham admitted to being "a little bit embarrassed at times."