Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo accused the UK Sun of publishing a fake interview, but the Sun said it actually was publishing excerpts from his biography.
“We did not claim to have interviewed Ronaldo,” Sun managing editor Stig Abell told iMediaEthics. “As the article makes clear, we were reproducing material from his biography. His agent accepts this; indeed it is obvious to anyone who read the piece.”
He added, “We have been correcting media outlets reporting this wrongly, I believe.”
Ronaldo, a Real Madrid player, posted on Facebook and Twitter last week:
Today, the Sun publishes an interview with me that I never gave. So its content is pure fiction.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) May 29, 2014
According to the Sun’s Abell, “Ronaldo was unaware of the serialisation when he sent the tweet.”
Abell explained that the Sun reached out to Ronaldo’s agent following his complaints.
“We contacted his agent after he tweeted, who confirmed there were no objections and we then ran another extract (with agent’s consent),” he said, noting that Ronaldo didn’t post any further comments about the Sun’s articles.
What the Sun articles said
The Sun published a May 29 article by Rob Beasley “Ronaldo: Every goal is dedicated to my dad.”
iMediaEthics viewed the Sun article, which is behind a paywall. It quotes Ronaldo talking about his father and his death. For example, Ronaldo is quoted as saying of his father.
“He’s always looking at me and out for me. He sends me messages in my dreams because what I am today is thanks to him and to my mother.”
The article does not claim that Ronaldo made the comments to the Sun. At the end of the article a note refers to the Ronaldo biography book. That note reads:
” SUPER SunSport has scooped the lot again with the most complete book about Cristiano Ronaldo.
“CR7 — The Secrets of the Machine reveals the untold story behind the Real Madrid man’s rise to global stardom.
“CR7 – The Secrets of the Machine by Luis Miguel Pereira and Juan Ignacio Gallardo. Published by Prime Books”
The Sun also published another May 29 article featuring quotes from Ronaldo titled, “Ronaldo: I’ve no idea how much money I have.” That article was also part of the serialization of the Ronaldo biography, the Sun’s Abell confirmed to iMediaEthics.
Abell said of its serialized articles from Ronaldo’s biography: “Each piece was illustrated in print with the front cover of the book.”
We’ve reached out to Real Madrid and Ronaldo’s agent seeking comment from Ronaldo and confirmation of the Sun’s statements. We’ll update with any additional information.
The PCC told iMediaEthics by e-mail that it hadn’t received any complaints about the Sun’s May 29 articles on Ronaldo.