Today, rugby star Gareth Thomas has revealed that a tabloid ‘forced’ him to disclose his HIV status after a reporter turned up outside his parents’ house.
In a radio interview this morning Thomas said: “Can you imagine how I felt when a tabloid journalist knocked on my mother and father’s front door and asks them to make a comment on my HIV status… when I had literally not really sat down with my parents and had a chat about it because I wanted to protect them.”
“Imagine what position that puts me in. I can never, ever, ever have that moment back with my mother and father of sitting down and telling them something so personal to me…That person came and took that moment from me.”
Hacked Off have been told repeatedly by newspaper editors that ‘everything has changed’ since the Leveson report 7 years ago. In 2018, the Government justified reneging on its promise to complete the Leveson Inquiry by suggesting the press had cleaned up its act and there was no need for a further inquiry into alleged corruption and wrongdoing.
That could not be further from the truth. It is abundantly clear that nothing has changed.
IPSO, the sham complaints-handler controlled by the press barons, will soon have a politician as its Chair and dozens of distressed victims of press abuse continue to contact us every month.
It seems some newspapers are just as incapable of abiding by principles of human decency and basic journalistic ethics as they were during the phone hacking scandal.
Cancelling an inquiry that may have forced the press industry to confront its criminal past and change for the better was a reprehensible step, which failed not just past victims but future ones too.
But the fight isn’t over. The Online Harms Bill is our greatest opportunity since Leveson to change the rigged system. We are currently campaigning to ensure any plans for social media regulation applies to newspapers and news websites too. It is time to level the playing field – your tweets should not be more regulated than the Sun.
We need your help to keep campaigning. We are appealing for supporters to give a small, regular gifts of £5-£10 a month to help secure our future. Thanks to the generous supporters who have already pledged to give monthly – we are immensely grateful.