The Guardian has reported that The Sun newspaper has paid damages to Ben Stokes and his mother Deborah after they published a front-page story entitled “tragedy that haunts Stokes’ family” in 2019. Legal action was taken against the tabloid due to a breach of privacy, one which The Sun had initially tried to counter through claims that the archived news reports used for the column were publicly available in New Zealand at the time.
However, the tabloid has now decided to settle two years later as it looks to improve its perception amongst the general public. The new editor, Victoria Newton, is attempting to build a softer image after a series of scandals and intrusive stories under her predecessor Tony Gallagher. The Sun have openly apologised to the Stokes family for breaching their privacy and will pay for their legal fees as well as the settled damages.
The incident involved took place in 1988 and had directly and traumatically affected Deborah Stokes, who was unable to take any pleasure out of the ordeal coming to an end. She stated that her only hope for this process was to ensure that other families do not suffer from a similar situation, and that firmer boundaries are set between the tabloid press and their targets for stories.