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Complainant Name:
Mrs Diane Stevenson

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Daily Telegraph

Complaint:

Mrs Diane Stevenson complained to the Press Complaints Commission that articles in the three newspapers inaccurately reported that she had worked as a stripper in a night club prior to meeting her husband, Reverend David Stevenson. She said that the claim had arisen from a two-part feature that she had written for her local church magazine, encouraging people to avoid judging others in the absence of knowing the full facts of any given situation. Although she had written that she was a "stripper" in the first part, she had planned to clarify that she actually stripped chicken in a food factory in the second part. However, the first part of the feature was reported by a local newspaper, prior to publication of her second church magazine article.

Resolution:

The newspapers did not accept any breach of the Code, as the story originated from an article that Mrs Stevenson herself had written. Nevertheless, the complaint was resolved when The Sun and the Daily Express removed the online version of their articles and amended their files accordingly. The Sun also published a follow-up article, clarifying the situation. The Daily Telegraph added the following statement from the complainant to the online version of the article:

Statement from Mrs Diane Stevenson

Further to the article "Vicar's wife shocks parishioners by revealing her stripper past", of 11 December 2009, I would clarify that I have never worked as a stripper in a night club. I actually worked stripping chicken in a food factory. The story about me stripping in a club for money came about as a result of a two-part feature that I had written for our church magazine. In the first part, I wrote that I had been a "stripper". I intended to clarify this statement in the second part, and hoped to encourage readers not to judge others based on first appearances alone. Unfortunately, prior to the publication of the second part of the feature, our local newspaper published information contained in the first piece. I would now like to make the position clear, and re-iterate my message of the importance of avoiding prejudice.

Date Published: 03/06/2010



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