The Sun says it stands by the accuracy of an article showing pictures of Wayne Rooney “cosying up” to one woman and “getting into a lift” with another after the married star rubbished the story.
The Sun on Sunday splashed on the images over the weekend and also published them online. It reported that Rooney had been on a “wild night out with teammates” in Vancouver, Canada, after a match.
Rooney, 33, is currently playing for DC United in Washington DC before returning to the UK next year.
The following day the Sun reported that Rooney’s wife, Coleen, had flown to the US to “read Rooney the riot act” over the pictures it had published.
The paper said: “Rooney was spotted downing rum and cokes with other players at a club where he was also seen cosying up to a brunette.
“He later set tongues wagging after getting into a lift at his hotel at 5.30am with another mystery woman.”
In a statement, published on Twitter today, the father-of-four hit out at the coverage, labelling it “completely untrue” and a “smear”. It has so far gained more than 38,000 likes and nearly 6,000 retweets.
A Sun spokesperson said: “We stand by the accuracy of our story. Ahead of publication we alerted Mr Rooney’s team to the pictures and our intention to publish. We offered Mr Rooney the chance to comment, which he declined.”
Rooney said: “The Sun this week ran a front page story making it look like I took a girl back to my team hotel. They know that it’s not true and that I did not. They are using mine and my family’s name to sell papers.
“Nothing happened between me and any girl on that night in Vancouver. I did not enter the lift alone with the girl pictured in the hotel foyer.
“The girl pictured in the club was simply one of many who innocently asked for autographs and pictures.”
He added: “The photographs published by The Sun were taken by a freelance photographer who followed me and team mates to take long range shots, without our knowledge or permission.
“The pictures sold to the newspaper were selected and edited to create a sensational and completely untrue story about me.
“This whole story was a smear against me. It is damaging to my family and not something I am prepared to put up with.”
Picture: Scott Taetsch/USA Today/Reuters