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Post-mortem on dead Sky journalist

Forlong
Forlong worked for Sky for 10 years.

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LONDON, England -- A post-mortem examination was being carried out on the body of a journalist who faked a report on the war in Iraq.

Award-winning Sky News correspondent James Forlong, was found dead by wife Elaine at their house in Hove, on the English south coast, early Saturday.

The 44-year-old reporter had resigned from his post as joint defense and royal correspondent in July after he was accused in a BBC documentary of fabricating a report about the firing of a missile into Baghdad during the Iraq war.

His wife said Monday that he had been "shattered" by the blow to his career.

She was quoted by the UK's Press Association as saying: "He deeply felt the loss of his job as a television correspondent.

"James was an award-winning journalist who had spent the last 10 years travelling to some of the world's worst trouble spots including Rwanda, Bosnia,

"Indonesia and Afghanistan and cared passionately about his work."

Forlong said she and their 15-year-old son Christopher -- who has Down's Syndrome -- and 12-year-old daughter Katie were in a state of shock.

In a statement she said: "The family are devastated by his death which we are still trying to come to terms with.

"James was a devoted, loving father and husband and we shall all miss him desperately."

Nick Pollard, head of Sky News, paid tribute to his former colleague who had worked for the rolling satellite news channel for 10 years.

He said: "This is a terrible personal tragedy and a shocking blow for James's family.

"Everyone here sends their deepest sympathies to James's wife and children."

A Sussex Police spokesman yesterday said: "We can confirm that a 44-year-old man from Hove was found dead at his address in the early hours of Saturday morning."

The spokesman said the circumstances were not thought to be suspicious.

Forlong was embedded aboard aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk during the war with Iraq.

But he was suspended in July after the BBC documentary series, Fighting The War, exposed his false report.

Forlong claimed to have a live exclusive aboard the submarine HMS Splendid, but a BBC film crew alleged library pictures were the basis for the report.

After the allegations were aired, Forlong admitted: "It was a lapse of judgment, which, for me, is a source of deep regret.

"There was never any conscious intent to deceive the viewers."

The Sky News journalist fronted coverage of the Queen's Golden Jubilee, the deaths of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.

He began his career in newspapers, with the West Sussex County Times and the Brighton Evening Argus, on the south coast and then became a radio reporter for the BBC.

Forlong switched to television in 1988, reporting for the UK's commercial channel ITN from Somalia, Syria, Lebanon and Bosnia.

He then joined Sky News as Senior Foreign Correspondent in 1993 and worked in South Africa, India and throughout Asia.


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