BMW and Mercedes felt compelled to issue a joint statement addressing the bizarre sex scandal involving the millionaire that came to light over the weekend.
“The content of the publications is disgraceful,” said the statement, which came before the start of Sunday’s Grand Prix race in Bahrain. “As companies, we strongly distance ourselves from it. This incident concerns Max Mosley both personally and as president of the FIA, the global umbrella organization for motoring clubs. Its consequences therefore extend far beyond the motor sport industry. We await a response from the relevant FIA bodies.”
In a statement to Reuters, the 67-year-old president of the Formula One governing body responded briskly to the BMW-Mercedes criticism. “Given the history of BMW and Mercedes Benz, particularly before and during the Second World War, I fully understand why they would wish to strongly distance themselves from what they rightly describe as the disgraceful content of these publications” Mosley said.
“Unfortunately, they did not contact me before putting out their statement to ask whether the content was in fact true. No doubt the FIA will respond to them in due course as I am about to respond to the newspaper in question.”
The “newspaper in question” is British tabloid The News of the World, which claimed on Sunday to have obtained a five-hour video of Mosley engaging in disturbing sado-masochistic Nazi role-playing with five prostitutes. Clips of the alleged incident have been posted on the internet.
Mosley has denied the allegations in the face of public outrage and calls for his resignation by Jewish leaders.
Mosely has repeatedly rejected Nazism in the past, as his family had significant ties to Nazi Germany before the Second World War. His father, Oswald Mosley, founded the British Union of Fascists, and was married in the home of Nazi propaganda head Joseph Goebbels – an event attended by Adolf Hitler.
Reuters reported on Thursday that Japanese car manufacturers Honda and Toyota have also released critical statements on Mosley’s conduct.
Mosley has cancelled his plans to attend the Grand Prix in Bahrain.