Beckham Plays with Galaxy, Parties with Stars

David Beckham follows up star-studded MLS debut with an equally A-list welcome party for him and Victoria

By Gina Serpe Jul 23, 2007 3:30 PMTags

On Saturday, David Beckham made his debut with the Galaxy. On Sunday, he took his place among the stars. Only one of the two events lived up to expectations.

More than 600 of David and Victoria Beckham's soon to be nearest and dearest friends turned up for the duo's Welcome to Los Angeles party at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sunday night, hosted by A-list couple pals Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

The invitation-only soiree officially welcomed the British imports to the city and into the upper echelon of Hollywood elite. And their greeting was fittingly credentialed.

Eva Longoria, who had the honor of joining Posh Spice in her VIP box at Beckham's MLS debut on Saturday, was among the notables who made the scene at the Geffen Contemporary Gallery, as were Brooke Shields and Chris Henchy and Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy.

Simon Fuller, the American Idol producer who not only served as svengali to the Spice Girls but brokered Becks' $250 million sponsorship-laden deal to the L.A. Galaxy and has not been photographed outside a 10-foot radius of the couple since their arrival last week, was also present and accounted for.

Among the first to arrive at the to-do, for which no media was allowed past the velvet rope, was the Oscar-winning tandem of director Ron Howard and über-producer Brian Grazer. Soon after, the happy troika of Bruce Willis, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore made a showing, as did Quincy Jones and Wesley Snipes.

The guest list continued to read like a who's who roster of music, movie and TV: Matthew Perry, Jon Voight, Nick Cannon, Forest Whitaker, Mekhi Phifer, Rihanna, Cedric the Entertainer and Gary Dourdan, among many others.

One invitee no doubt taken from Victoria's little black book was Melanie "Scary Spice" Brown, who arrived with her boyfriend, Stephen Belafonte.

The David contingent, meanwhile, was likely made up by the slew of celebrity athletes in attendance, among them LeBron James, Venus Williams and Carmelo Anthony.

A red carpet was set up outside the gallery space, which was bedecked with a deejay and both American and British flags. Likewise, both British and American fare was on the menu: bangers and mash, burgers, fries and salad.

But while the party itself was an all-out spectacle, complete with photo ops for the Beckhams, Cruises and Smiths, not everyone in attendance was excessively glam: Entourage's Adrian Grenier, for one, showed up in a taxi.

Cruise, however, made his entrance in true cross-continental star style.

The actor, who on Thursday began shooting his controversial WWII saga, Valkyrie, in Berlin, flew home Saturday for the sole purpose of hosting the bash. And while Cruise's flight plan prohibited him from actually witnessing number 23's debut on the soccer pitch, plenty of other stars manage to turn out for the hugely anticipated reveal.

In keeping with the caliber of bleacher creatures, officials at Carson's Home Depot Center literally rolled out the red carpet in advance of Saturday's friendly exhibition game against Chelsea FC.

Victoria, Longoria, Holmes, Suri Cruise, Cruise matriarch Mary Lee Mapother, the three Beckham boys and, of course, Fuller witnessed all 13 minutes of Beckham's much heralded debut from the family's VIP box.

Faring less well in the seating department but nevertheless in attendance at the game were Drew Carey, Mary-Kate Olsen, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Shields and  Henchy, Alicia Silverstone and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The man of the hour—or at least of the 13 minutes—didn't emerge from the locker room until just moments before the game and, upon taking his seat at the edge of the players' bench, was swarmed by more than 100 photographers.

During the game itself, ESPN employed a "Beckham cam," which monitored both the midfielder's pitchside umping and the on-off positioning of his left cleat—Beckham was benched due to an injury to his left ankle suffered in a July 7 game for the England national team.

However, just before minute 77 of the 90-minute game, Beckham stood from his perch on the side of the field and began warming up, to roars and cheers from the crowd, which Beckham himself admitted were so loud he was "a little embarrassed at times."

Despite a moment that claimed the collective breath of the sold-out stadium—when Beckham was side-tackled and remained down a hair too long for the crowd's liking—his debut was smooth, if entirely uneventful.

L.A. lost the "friendly" to Chelsea 1-0, with the match's sole point scored by John Terry, the man who succeeded Beckham as captain of the England team.

The Galaxy's next game is scheduled for Aug. 5.