Ben Stokes slams 'utterly disgusting' tabloid story on family

    Ben Stokes of England poses for a portrait ahead of the recently concluded Ashes.

    (CNN)England's World Cup and Ashes cricket hero Ben Stokes has called The Sun newspaper's front-page story about a family tragedy "heartless" and "utterly disgusting."

    On his personal Twitter page, Stokes, 28, took issue with the newspaper's decision to publish "extremely painful, sensitive and personal details" surrounding an event that impacted Stokes' family more than 31 years ago.
      The cricketer slammed the paper for questioning his parents at their home in New Zealand over the "deeply personal and traumatic events."
        "I cannot conceive of anything more immoral, heartless or contemptuous to the feelings and circumstances of my family," the statement said.
        "For more than three decades, my family has worked hard to deal with the private trauma inevitably associated with these events."
        Ben Stokes hit 135 not out to help England win the third Ashes Test against Australia in August.
        Stokes, whose match-winning innings secured the World Cup for England in July before he played a starring role in the Ashes against Australia, added: "To use my name as an excuse to shatter the privacy and private lives of 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 and other family members. The decision to publish these details has grave and lifelong consequences."
        Stokes went on to call the article the "lowest form of journalism, focussed only on chasing sales with absolutely no regard for the devastation caused to lives as a consequence."
        A spokesperson for the newspaper told CNN by email: "The Sun has the utmost sympathy for Ben Stokes and his mother but it is only right to point out the story was told with the co-operation of a family member who supplied details, provided photographs and posed for pictures.
          "The tragedy is also a matter of public record and was the subject of extensive front page publicity in New Zealand at the time.
          "The Sun has huge admiration for Ben Stokes and we were delighted to celebrate his sporting heroics this summer. He was contacted prior to publication and at no stage did he or his representatives ask us not to publish the story."