Sting 'saddened and distressed' by reports of illegal immigrants working on his luxury estate
Sting has said he is "saddened and distressed" amid reports that illegal migrants were discovered working on his luxury wine-producing Italian estate.
The pop star's 865-acre (350-hectare) estate, used to grow olive trees, grapes and other fruit, is reportedly part of a police investigation into illegal migrant labour.
Labourers who had not been granted the right to settle in Italy are said to have been recruited by gangmasters who used a company to contract them out to Tuscan estates, including Sting's, it is claimed.
Italian prosecutors believe these estates did not know the labourers supplied were illegal, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The former Police frontman, who was born in Wallsend and went to school in Newcastle, said he was "saddened and distressed to learn that an independent company leasing some of our fields may have been involved in questionable labour practices".
"I fully expect that Italian law will take its course and bring the matter to court.
"While this company has no affiliation with our own operation, perhaps, as my name has appeared in the headline in the Italian papers, it will shine a necessary spotlight on unacceptable labour practices in the wine industry."
Around 30-40 labourers whose asylum applications had not been processed were employed on the rock star's estate last year, Antonio Sangermano, the prosecutor leading the investigation, told the Telegraph.
The newspaper said 11 people are being investigated over a number of charges, including commercial fraud, profiting from illegal labour and issuing false financial records.
Mr Sangermano told the Telegraph: "Sting had no knowledge of this and we believe he was not even in Italy at the time.
"He is not part of our inquiry. But we are looking into exactly who employed these workers on the estate."
Sting, whose real name is Gordon Sumner, has owned the estate for more than 16 years.
A farm shop sells everything made or grown on the estate, including oil from hand-picked olives, vegetables, fruit, honey and local salami.
One of his red wines, called Sister Moon after one of his songs, was identified as one of the top 100 Italian wines earlier this year.