London (CNN)Britain's biggest-selling tabloid newspaper, The Sun, has been accused of glorifying domestic violence, after it ran an interview with the ex-husband of author J.K. Rowling on its front page under the headline: "I slapped JK and I'm not sorry."
Lawmakers accuse UK tabloid of glorifying domestic abuse after front-page interview with J.K. Rowling's ex-husband
Politicians and charities have expressed outrage at the paper, which featured a doorstep interview with the "Harry Potter" author's first husband in which he refused to apologize for slapping her.
Rowling revealed in an essay on Wednesday that she is a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
"Headlines matter," UK charity Women's Aid said. "This morning we have been speaking to The Sun about today's front page and the negative impact it has had, and we will continue to speak to them to reflect survivors' voices."
Opposition Labour MP Jess Phillips called the headline "awful," and several MPs called on The Sun to issue an apology.
The front page article featured quotes from Rowling's former partner, Jorge Arantes, in which he admitted that he abused her but refused to apologize for doing so. A subhead reads "Sun confronts her first husband."
CNN has been unable to independently verify The Sun's reporting of its exchange with Arantes.
The paper defended its headline on Friday but said "it was certainly not our intention to 'enable' or 'glorify' domestic abuse."
"We were disgusted by the comments of JK Rowling's ex-husband, and branded him 'sick' and 'unrepentant' in our coverage," it said in a statement. "Our intention was to expose a perpetrator's total lack of remorse."
CNN has contacted The Sun for further comment.
"What this has done is give national media coverage to a perpetrator of domestic abuse to attempt to justify his actions," domestic abuse charity Refuge said.
The story was published two days after Rowling wrote in a personal essay about her experience of being in an allegedly abusive relationship.
"I've been in the public eye now for over twenty years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor," the author wrote. "This isn't because I'm ashamed those things happened to me, but because they're traumatic to revisit and remember."
The Sun said it interviewed Rowling's first husband Arantes outside his mother's home in Porto, Portugal, in a journalistic practice known as doorstepping.
Its story featured a handful of quotes in which Arantes denied abusing Rowling, despite acknowledging that he slapped her, which is a form of physical abuse. "I slapped Joanne — but there was not sustained abuse. I'm not sorry for slapping her," he is quoted as saying.
The story then details the couple's history and Rowling's Wednesday essay. The pair married in 1992 and Rowling left Arantes the following year, she wrote in the essay.
The front page "reflects how violence against women so often gets d