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Friday, June 19, 1998 Published at 22:06 GMT 23:06 UK

Woodward parents sold story

Gary and Sue Woodward sold their story to a tabloid newspaper

The Daily Mail has confirmed it paid for an interview with the parents of the former au pair, Louise Woodward.

Sue and Gary Woodward, whose daughter was convicted of the manslaughter of a baby in her care in Boston, Massachusetts, gave the interview to the newspaper last year.

[ image: The Daily Mail: paid for the story in November]
The Daily Mail: paid for the story in November
The paper said it supported the Press Complaints Commission code that there should be no payments to convicted people.

At a press conference on her return to Britain on Thursday, Woodward denied reports she had sold her story.

But a report in the Boston Herald now claims the Woodwards received 40,000 for "exclusive access" in November, before a judge reduced their daughter's conviction from murder to manslaughter and set her free.

The Daily Mail has not given any details of the alleged contract.

The paper said in a statement it had bought the story following the "huge groundswell of public opinion" following Louise's conviction for murder.

It added that no further payments had or would be paid to the Woodward family.

'No deals, no payments'

Woodward has continually denied making any deals and said her one interview would be with the BBC with no payment.

She will be interviewed for a BBC Panorama special by Martin Bashir, the reporter who questioned Princess Diana for the programme.

The 20-year-old former nanny returned home to Elton after the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts ruled that her conviction and sentence for the involuntary manslaughter of eight-month-old Matthew Eappen should stand.

Eappens have 'strong case'

A judge in a Boston court has temporarily banned Woodward from spending any profits from selling her story.

US District Judge William Young issued the order as Louise began her journey home to England.

The order, which lasts for 10 days and can be extended, was made at the first hearing of a civil suit brought by Matthew Eappen's parents Sunil and Debbie.

They are claiming more than 45,400 in damages for the death of their son as well as seeking to prevent their former au pair profiting from selling her story.

The judge has set a date of October 5 for the full hearing, and said the Eappens had a "strong case and a reasonable likelihood of success" in winning damages.

The order also requires Woodward to tell the court and the Eappen family about any contracts she makes to sell her story.

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In this section

Woodward lied on TV, says baby's uncle

'Absolute child abuse' says Woodward detective

Panorama - Louise Woodward's exclusive interview

Woodwards cash in

If parents didn't do it, who did? - Woodward

Parents go back to court

US press slam Woodward

It's easier for Louise - baby's uncle

Louise's Panorama interview: What do you think?

Press restrained over Woodward's release