Frank Bruno's former wife and their three children visited him in hospital yesterday after he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Mr Bruno, 41, a world heavyweight boxing champion in the 1990s, was having his first day of tests at a psychiatric hospital when Laura and their children Nicola, 21, Rachel 16, and Franklin, seven, paid a five-hour visit. The end of his 11-year marriage to Laura they divorced two years ago is believed to have contributed to his downward spiral.
Fans and mental health charities condemned The Sun after the newspaper portrayed Mr Bruno as "nuts" with a front-page headline stating: "Bonkers Bruno locked up." Despite it being changed in later editions, an estimated 100 readers complained 10 to the Press Complaints Commission. Later editions carried the headline: "Sad Bruno in mental home."
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane, said: "It is both an insult to Mr Bruno and damaging to the many thousands of people who endure mental illness to label him as "bonkers" or "a nutter" and having to be "put in a mental home". In clear recognition of the error, today's Sun announces on the front page that it has set up a "fund for Bruno" dedicated to helping those suffering mental health problems.
Mr Bruno was taken from his home near Brentwood, Essex, and placed in the care of the North East London Mental Health NHS trust in Goodmayes Hospital, Ilford, on Monday. His status as one of Britain's most popular sporting personalities was confirmed when hundreds of gifts, flowers and messages of support were sent from friends and fans.
His agent and friend Kevin Lueshing said. "Frank is in hospital for a bit of time to get some rest and help. He will stay there as long as it takes to get him back on track. We are getting messages all the time, wishing him well from people within boxing and people who just know Frank. Frank will be happy the public are on his side."
Barry McGuigan, the former world champion and founder of the British Boxers Association, said: "I thoroughly believe boxers need counselling when their careers are over; not all of them but quite a few of them need help to fit back into society again. I think it gathered pace and finally the poor guy has just cracked. He's a very sensitive creature, he's a lovely big bloke."
The boxing promoter Frank Warren said: "I think this is very sad but hopefully the start of something good for Frank. It was something he needed to address."
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