The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has thrown out a complaint by former footballer Stan Collymore that the Sun ran a “campaign against him” through articles about his relationship with ex-girlfriend Ulrika Jonsson.
Collymore, who infamously attacked Johnson in a bar in Paris in 1998, claimed the Sun published his Twitter reaction to an interview they ran with Jonsson in January 2014 out of context.
The incident came amid a storm of racist Twitter abuse against Collymore. After speaking out about online threats, the Sun ran the interview piece with Jonsson, who accused Collymore of being a hypocrite given his previous behaviour towards her.
In response, the now football pundit for TalkSport and Sunday People columnist published a series of tweets (which you can see here).
In some of the them, Collymore said: “I struck Miss Jonsson with an open hand. Once. Again, a man punching and kicking (an athlete) causes serious damage. No bruises, so how? Luck?” and: “I apologise again to Miss Jonsson again. Striking her and domestic abuse from one partner to another is wrong. But I’ve paid, still paying.”
The Sun ran a follow up story describing Collymore’s tweets as “shameless” and saying he had tried to “justify” the assault.
In his complaint to the PCC, Collymore argued that the Sun had failed to take into account tweets in which he said he said he was ashamed and he insisted he had not tried to justify the incident.
However, the PCC ruled that the Sun’s language “clearly represented its interpretation of the complainant’s tweets” and concluded that readers would not have been misled by the story.
The PCC also dismissed a complaint from Collymore that he had been harassed after a reporter seeking comment waited outside of his home for six hours.