Friday, May 11, 2007
The British watchdog agency the Press Complaints Commission has ruled that the Sun newspaper invaded singer Charlotte Church's privacy when it reported speculation that she might be pregnant because she seemed to have cut back on alcohol and smoking recently. The PCC informed the Sun that it could not avoid liability by reporting the story as rumor rather than as fact.
"The Commission has recently made clear that newspapers should not reveal the fact of someone’s pregnancy before the 12 week scan without consent and when the information is not known to any significant degree. The newspaper’s defence in this case was that it had merely reported rumours that the complainant was pregnant because of a change in her behaviour. But the newspaper had provided no evidence of any rumours, and had not denied that it had known for a fact that she was pregnant when it published the piece. In these circumstances it seemed to the Commission that the newspaper had simply tried to circumvent the privacy provisions of the Code by presenting the story as speculation. This was not acceptable within the spirit of the Code. The complaint was upheld."