The Sun is understood to have offered actor Michael Le Vell £150,000 for an exclusive interview last week following his acquittal on rape charges.
But so far the actor does not appear to have signed a deal to speak to the media.
Last week bidding was fierce to sign up the star to talk about his two-year ordeal after being accused of sexual offences against a child – with The Sun, Mirror and ITV all particularly keen to buy his story.
The Sun on Sunday will have been eager to tie up an exclusive for its relaunch under a new look last Sunday.
Instead broadcasters and newspapers made arrangements to interview Le Vell’s siblings. Sisters Glenys and Susan spoke to the Sunday Mirror and his brother Philip and other sister Julie spoke to The Sun on Sunday. Julie, Susan and Phil also appeared on This Morning to talk about their brother’s ordeal.
Both newspapers led on the line that Le Vell forgave his accuser, who cannot be named.
Menwhile, this week’s Sun on Sunday front-page reported new claims that two Coronation Street actors were caught in bed with under-age girls five years ago.
The Press Complaints Commission Editors’ Code forbids journalists from making any offer of payment to witnesses in active trials. And it also prevents journalists from making payments to convicted criminals about stories which might glamorise crime.
There is however no bar on paying victims for their stories once trials have been completed, or on paying those who are acquitted.
Following the conviction of teacher Jeremy Forest for abducting a 15-year-old schoolgirl earlier this year The Sun paid the un-named girl of an exclusive interview (after she had turned 16).