Morrissey Readies NME Lawsuit
Fri, 30 Nov 2007 11:02:46
Having a cover line as highly suggestive as "Bigmouth Strikes Again" is bad enough, but the British weekly NME apparently took things too far when they framed a Morrissey cover story around his views on immigration issues in the UK. Among the contested quotes is a comment about whether the former Smiths frontman would consider moving back to England. (He currently resides in Rome.) According to the BBC, Morrissey said, "Although I don't have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England, the more the British identity disappears. So the price is enormous. If you travel to Germany, it's still absolutely Germany. If you travel to Sweden, it still has a Swedish identity. But travel to England and you have no idea where you are."
Soon after his interview, Morrissey retracted the statement, citing the fact that it'd be taken out of context. He explained, "It could be construed that the reason I wouldn't wish to live in England is the immigration explosion. And that's not true at all."
The magazine chose to run their story as is despite Morrissey's plea, right down to a pull quote on the cover that says, "The gates of England are flooded. The country's been thrown away." Needless to say, the gloves have come off in the days since its publication. The Morrissey fan site True To You has a rundown of the E-mail/fax exchange between Morrissey's legal team and the magazine, beginning with a simple request for a printed apology. When the NME passed on that proposed settlement yesterday, Morrissey's lawyers issued the following statement: "The NME had until 1:00 p.m. today to agree to print a suitable apology to Morrissey. Their only response to this deadline was to say they 'do not have time to respond to the allegations.' Our lawyers are therefore in the process of issuing legal proceedings for defamation against the NME and its Editor, Conor McNicholas, which will be served tomorrow."
Stay tuned for more information as this case develops. In the meantime, we have some happy news to report: Morrissey's newly-minted record deal with Polydor/Decca includes not only the UK, but the U.S. as well. So we can expect a new album and greatest hits collection (including two new songs!) through the label sometime next year.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff