Ecclestone backs Mosley after lurid affair claim

UPDATE #2 (GMM) A spokesman for F1's governing body says FIA president Max Mosley is consulting with lawyers after he was alleged to be at the centre of a racist sex scandal.

The British tabloid News of the World depicted the 67-year-old, in hidden camera footage filmed at a London apartment, engaged in a Nazi death-camp role play orgy with five prostitutes.

"As far as the FIA is concerned, this is a matter between Mr. Mosley and the newspaper," a spokesman said.

"We understand that Mr. Mosley's lawyers are now in contact with that newspaper and the FIA has no comment," he added.

Especially in the context of the recent racist scandal involving Lewis Hamilton, and Mosley's hard-line response, Jewish groups condemned the Briton's alleged actions.

"As Mr. Mosley has condemned the racism in motor sport, he should live up to the standards he sets," Holocaust Centre director Stephen Smith told the Times newspaper, calling on Mosley to apologize and quit.

In other British newspapers, Mosley's fellow F1 powerbroker and long time friend, Bernie Ecclestone, rejected the notion that Mosley should step down.

"I find it difficult to believe," the F1 chief executive is quoted as saying by the Guardian.

"It's his business but it sounds to me like a set-up. Has he in any way damaged F1? No."

Mosley's father was the notorious British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley, whose wedding was attended by Adolf Hitler, but Ecclestone denied that Max is also racist.

"Knowing Max it might be all a bit of a joke rather than anything against Jewish people," he said, according to the Daily Mail.

"Assuming it's all true, what people do privately is up to them," Ecclestone told the Times of London.

03/30/08 Formula One's governing body kept its distance on Sunday from sexual allegations in a British tabloid newspaper about its president Max Mosley.

"This is a matter between Mr. Mosley and the paper in question," an International Automobile Federation (FIA) spokesman said.

"We understand that Mr. Mosley's lawyers are now in contact with that newspaper and the FIA has no comment."

The News of the World reported in a front page story that FIA president Mosley, 67, had taken part in a 'sadomasochistic orgy' with five prostitutes that reportedly involved Nazi role-playing. See related story and video of Mosley

Max Mosley

03/30/08 Formula One ruler Max Mosley last night won the influential backing of Bernie Ecclestone after a lurid Sunday newspaper expose left him battling for his job.

While several senior figures within the sport privately questioned how Mosley can continue as FIA president, the man who has worked closest with him in transforming F1 into a billion dollar enterprise remained loyal.

Reacting to reports claiming that Mosley — the son of notorious fascist Sir Oswald — enacted Nazi death camp scenes with five prostitutes, Ecclestone said: "I find it difficult to believe. It's his business but it sounds to me like a set up. Has he in anyway damaged F1? No."

Ecclestone also brushed aside the Nazi overtones, saying: "Knowing Max it might be all a bit of a joke rather than anything against Jewish people."

The FIA could force a vote of no-confidence in Mosley. For now, he has engaged his lawyers and intends to be in Bahrain for Sunday's grand prix, dismissing all talk of resignation. Daily Mail

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