Max Mosley is the President of the Fédération Internationale de l’ Automobile and is, as such, arguably the most powerful person in motor racing worldwide.
The News of the World (a British tabloid) published an investigative piece yesterday (with video) that appears to show Mr. Mosley participating in a Nazi-themed, sadomasochistic orgy with five prostitutes.
Or, as we call it at my house, “Thursday.”
While Mr. Mosley has not made a statement denying the article’s claims, a spokesperson for the FIA stated:
This is a matter between Mr. Mosley and the paper in question. We understand that Mr. Mosley’s lawyers are now in contact with that newspaper and the FIA has no comment.
Predictably, the hue and cry for Mosley’s resignation came immediately from organizations such as Holocaust Educational Trust and the Holocaust Centre. I say “predictably” because Max Mosley is a prominent figure in the public eye, whose family has direct Nazi associations. Max’s father Oswald Mosley was the founder of the British Union of Fascists, and he and Max’s mother were married in the drawing room of Joseph Goebbels, with Adolf Hitler in attendance.
The timing is also unfortunate, coming as it does less than a month before the debut of a FIA-sponsored anti-racism initiative at the Barcelona Grand Prix.
Now, I don’t like Max Mosley. He has used his position to carry out personal attacks in the media against Formula 1 legends like Sir Jackie Stewart (“He goes round dressed up as a 1930s music hall man. He’s a certified halfwit.”), and I have a personal grudge over his breathtaking failure of leadership in the debacle that was the 2005 United States Grand Prix.
That said, I don’t want to see Max forced to resign over this. While the whole episode is decidedly unsavory if true, I think it falls firmly in the realm of private life, and it was a victimless crime. While Max may have shown questionable personal judgment (public figures should really make more an effort not to get caught on video engaged in this sort of behavior), I would rather see him lose his position as President of the FIA based solely for his actions in that role.