The Sun has been criticised by the Press Complaints Commission after “duping” footballer Stan Collymore into signing a statement saying he lied about being assaulted.
The front-page story appeared on 3 November, two days after Collymore said he was beaten up by several rugby players in Dublin.
Inside the paper the article went on to reveal that it had obtained the “confession” by getting Collymore to sign an autograph for a fan.
The PCC ruled that the article was in breach of clause one of the code (accuracy) because it was misleading and of clause 10 (subterfuge) because there was no public interest defence.
The Sun acknowledged that it had carried out a stunt, but argued that readers would not have been misled by the piece, since the article included a clear reference as to how the “confession” had been obtained.