Yesterday (17 September) Ben Stokes released the following statement.
“Today the Sun has seen fit to publish extremely painful, sensitive and personal details concerning events in the private lives of my family, going back more than 31 years.
It is hard to find words that adequately describe such low and despicable behavior, disguised as journalism. I cannot conceive of anything more immoral, heartless or contemptuous to the feelings and circumstances of my family.
For more than three decades, my family has worked hard to deal with the private trauma inevitably associated with these events and has taken great care to keep private what were deeply personal and traumatic events. On Saturday, the Sun sent a ‘reporter’ to my parents’ home in New Zealand to question them, out of the blue, on this incredibly upsetting topic. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Sun think it is acceptable to sensationalise our personal tragedy for their front page.
To use my name as an excuse to shatter the privacy and private lives of – in particular – my parents, is utterly disgusting. I am aware that my public profile brings with it consequences for me that I accept entirely. But I will not allow my pubic profile to be used as an excuse to invade the rights of my parents, my wife, my children or other family members. They are entitled to a private life of their own. The decision to publish these details has grave and lifelong consequences for my mum in particular.
This is the lowest form of journalism, focussed only on chasing sales with absolutely no regard for the devastation caused to lives as a consequence. It is totally out of order.
This article also contains serious inaccuracies which has compounded the damage caused. We need to take a serious look at how we allow our press to behave.
Despite the fact that this has now been made public, I do please ask all concerned to respect my family’s privacy and right to home life.”
(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)