Ben Stokes and his mother have reportedly launched legal action against 'The Sun' after the UK newspaper published a front-page story with sensitive information about the all-rounder's family. The Sun had last month published a story which described in detail events of more than 30 years ago involving the deaths of members of Stokes' New Zealand-based family. Over a month after the incident, Stokes and his mother Deborah have filed proceedings against 'The Sun' for invasion of privacy. Their lawyers will argue that the story breached the family's privacy by bringing up an issue that had been largely forgotten, The Guardian reported.
Stokes had slammed The Sun, an English daily, for a report on the cricketer's "secret family tragedy". The newspaper's report claims that his mother's two children were killed by her ex in 1988, a few year's before the cricketer's birth.
"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," the cricketer's statement read. The all-rounder called the publication "heartless and immoral" for their reportage and stated that their reporter went down to New Zealand to question his parents about this "incredibly upsetting topic."
"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 thinks it is acceptable to sensationalise our personal tragedy for their front page," the statement added.
Stokes said that it is not acceptable to use his name as a public figure to dismantle the privacy of his family. "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 its consequences for me that I accept entirely. But I will not allow my public profile to be used as an excuse to invade the rights of my parents, my wife, my children or other family members," Stokes said.
"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. The article also contains serious inaccuracies which have compounded the damage caused. We need to take a serious look at how we allow our press to behave," the statement adds.