Stokes condemns ‘disgusting’ retelling of sibling murders
Cricketer Ben Stokes has penned an angry response to an article retelling the story of his siblings' murder at the hands of their mother's ex-partner 31 years ago.
Stokes on Tuesday hit back at an article from The Sun published on Tuesday, slamming it as "immoral" and "heartless", saying the incident had left his family shattered.
The front-page report retold the devastating story of his half brother and sister's murder by his mother's ex-partner in 1988, and claimed there were "furious rows" between Stokes' mum and her ex before the murder.
Stokes, who helped England win the World Cup this year and played a starring role in the just-completed drawn Ashes series against Australia, has called the report "utterly disgusting", saying it touched on "deeply personal and traumatic events" involving the deaths of members of his New Zealand-based family.
The 28-year-old, who was born in New Zealand but moved to England as a boy, took to Twitter to publish his response, saying he had been rendered speechless by the article.
"It is hard to find words that adequately describe such low and despicable behaviour, disguised as journalism," he said.
"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.
"I cannot conceive of anything more immoral, heartless or contemptuous to the feelings and circumstances of my family."
In his response, he said the article had "grave and lifelong consequences" for his mother in particular, saying serious inaccuracies had compounded the damage.
England cricket chiefs have rallied round the star all-rounder after he criticised the report.
In a statement, Tom Harrison, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board said: "We, like the wider sporting world, are disgusted and appalled at the actions taken in revealing the tragic events from Ben's past.
"We are saddened that an intrusion of this magnitude was deemed necessary in order to sell newspapers or secure clicks. Ben's exploits at Lord's and Headingley cemented his place in cricket history this summer - we are sure the whole sport, and the country, stands behind him in support."
The Sun defended its approach, saying the story had received extensive media coverage in New Zealand at the time and was a matter of public record.
- with AAP