England's Ben Stokes and his mother Deborah have received an apology and been paid damages by The Sun newspaper for the reporting of a family tragedy.
The newspaper published an article in 2019 depicting alleged events that took place three years before Stokes was born, which he described at the time via Twitter as "heartless" and "totally out of order".
Stokes claimed the story contained "serious inaccuracies" and had "grave and lifelong consequences" for his mother, while the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) stated it was "disgusted and appalled" by the reporting.
On Sunday, The Sun published a short statement on its website, apologising to Stokes and his mother.
"On September 17 2019 we published a story titled, 'Tragedy that Haunts Stokes' Family' which described a tragic incident that had occurred to Deborah Stokes, the mother of Ben Stokes, in New Zealand in 1988," the statement read.
"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."
Deborah Stokes said, as per The Guardian: "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."
The Sun's story came shortly after Stokes' Ashes heroics at Headingley, with the New Zealand-born all-rounder having also helped England win their maiden ODI World Cup in July of that year.