Ben Stokes and his mother have recently sued the Sun for invasion of privacy after the infamous tabloid posted a front page story dealing with a tragedy that took place in Stokes’ family.
The family’s lawyers will be arguing that the post breached their privacy by introducing an issue which was already forgotten. This could challenge many precedents which will be opposed by the Sun’s case that included historical reports and interviews with a family member.
The proceedings come in light of an ongoing celebrity trend of celebrities taking up arms against British media. They have been issued at the high court at the end of September and it is unclear if the newspaper has been summoned to the court or not. The Sun is part of the News Group Newspapers, owned by Rupert Murdoch.
A spokesperson of the newspaper refuses to say anything about the issue. The story has since been removed from the online edition of the paper and has been replaced with a link to the legal issues. Tweets on the story are also not in existence any longer.
Stokes is working with barrister David Sherborne who is also going to be representing Duchess Meghan of Sussex and Prince Harry in their challenge against media houses. Stokes is using solicitors who defended him in the criminal case for affray last summer, a legal battle he won. Though it is believed that a copyright claim will be involved, this seems to be an erroneous report and the case will only focus on the family’s privacy concerns.
News Group Newspapers which owns the News of the World, a now defunct outlet, is already under fire from Prince Harry who alleges that some phone hacking has taken place. It is also in the middle of the Coleen Roony and Rebekah Vardy scandal wherein Vardy is accused of selling private stories to the newspaper.
The story about the Stokes family describes in detail the events that took place in New Zealand, 31 years ago in an incident where Deborah Stokes’ ex-husband murdered their two children and then committed suicide. Ben who may win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, said that the story was despicable. The newspaper could not back up its claims of the additional exclusive reporting.
Legal proceedings have been filed, but before that, photos of Stokes grabbing his wife’s face at an event were published.
At the time when the story was published, the Sun defended its actions saying that the story was publicised in New Zealand press widely when it occurred. It has claimed that a family member has provided photographs as well as posed for photos while providing details of the happening. The Sun claims that they contacted Ben Stokes at the time of the publication, but did not receive any response from him. They also claim that the paper is more than happy to also report the sporting success of stokes.