The Sun pays damages to Ben Stokes over story about family tragedy

The Sun newspaper has paid damages to England cricketer Ben Stokes and his mother after it published a front-page story reporting on a family tragedy.

The 30-year-old criticised the newspaper for publishing “extremely painful, sensitive and personal details” about his family in September 2019, leading to him and his mother Deborah Stokes launching legal action.

On Monday, it was announced they had reached a settlement of their High Court claim against The Sun for breach of privacy.

The publication said: “The article caused great distress to the Stokes family, and especially to Deborah Stokes.

“We should not have published the article. We apologise to Deborah and Ben Stokes.

“We have agreed to pay them damages and their legal costs.”

The front-page story concerned a family tragedy involving Ms Stokes more than 30 years ago.

In a statement issued through solicitors firm Brabners, Ms Stokes said: “The decision to publish this article was a decision to expose, and to profit from exposing, intensely private and painful matters within our family.

“The suffering caused to our family by the publication of this article is something we cannot forgive.

“Ben and I can take no pleasure in concluding this settlement with The Sun.

“We can only hope that our actions in holding the paper to account will leave a lasting mark, and one that will contribute to prevent other families from having to suffer the same pain as was inflicted on our family by this article.”

In a post on Twitter at the time of the story, Stokes said a reporter had turned up at his parents’ home in New Zealand to ask them about the tragedy.

The Sun responded that it had contacted Stokes before printing the article and “at no stage did he or his representatives ask us not to publish the story”.