Ben Stokes has slammed English tabloid The Sun for its front-page report about a past tragedy involving his mother as “utterly disgusting”, and the “lowest form of journalism”.
Stokes, 28, who starred as England won the World Cup this summer, has never spoken about the tragic incident in public in the past. The all-rounder said the article was “immoral and heartless”.
“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,” he wrote in a note that was shared on Twitter.
“It is hard to find words that adequately describe such low and despicable behaviour, disguised as journalism. I cannot conceive of anything more immoral, heartless or contemptuous to the feelings and circumstances of my family.”
Stokes wrote that the family had worked hard to deal with the trauma and had taken great care to keep it private.
“On Saturday, the Sun sent a ‘reporter’ to my parents’ house 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,” he wrote.
“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 public 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 gave 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 the lives as a consequence. It is totally out of order.
“The 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,” he wrote.
“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,” Stokes wrote.
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) September 17, 2019
The Sun on its front page published an article about how Stoke’s mother’s children from a previous marriage were killed by their father. The England all-rounder was not born at the time.