Noel and Liam go at it in the High Court


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The Independent Online

The deterioration in relations between the Gallagher brothers was revealed in papers lodged at the High Court, detailing accusations of domestic abuse, violent assault and a pattern of "spiteful and childish" behaviour.

Employing the language of an abused spouse, Noel Gallagher, 44, lodged a 14-page document detailing 15 years of "unreasonable" behaviour by his younger brother, Liam, culminating in the Oasis split in 2009. The document was drawn up in response to a libel action launched by Liam, 39, after Noel accused him of pulling out of the 2009 V Festival as he was hungover.

Noel withdrew the claim, accepting Liam was diagnosed with laryngitis. But it is believed that Noel was obliged to lodge a defence since Liam's writ has not been withdrawn formally.

Noel claims he had been "tolerating the Claimaint's (Liam) abusive behaviour for a long time, even to the extent of the Claimant leaving offensive messages on the Defendant's wife's mobile phone, insulting her and others". Noel's lawyers list 12 separate occasions between 1994 and 2005, in which Liam allegedly "disrupted" gigs by storming out, being drunk or getting into fights. The frontman is accused of "pursuing an incompatible lifestyle... acting irresponsibly... and generally not making any sense".

Matters came to a head when Noel refused to allow Liam to advertise his Pretty Green clothing label in the band's tour programme. Following this, Noel alleges that Liam "provoked a huge row out of nothing", behaving in an "aggressive and intimidating" manner, while they were waiting in a first class airport lounge. Liam dedicated songs to Pretty Green staff on stage, a move which Noel, who demanded separate travel arrangements from then on, described as "spiteful and childish".

The "final straw" for the elder brother was the incident in Paris which prompted his walkout from the band. The papers claim: "Liam confronted the defendant (Noel) both verbally and physically, swearing and screaming at him." Liam then allegedly began "swinging a guitar around like an axe, nearly smashing the defendant in the face with it".

Although confirming that laryngitis was the reason for the V cancellation, Noel argued that Liam had been up drinking and smoking until "at least 1am" the night before. In his view, that "could have harmed his throat further or held back his recovery".

The document raises the possibility that the warring brothers could settle their differences in the High Court next Summer. It makes the possibility of an Oasis reunion, which had been mooted for 2015, less likely.

Noel Gallagher topped the charts with the debut album by his High Flying Birds, while Liam and the rest of Oasis continue to perform as Beady Eye. Liam said he had issued the writ because his professionalism had been questioned.

The band is not the first to experience a rift later played out in a court. The Smiths drummer, Mike Joyce, took Morrissey and Johnny Marr to court in a royalties dispute. The judge found for Joyce, describing Morrissey's evidence as "devious, truculent and unreliable". New Order bassist Peter Hook told Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert: "See you in court," if they carried on without him. Hook says their first London gig without him next month is like "Queen without Freddie Mercury".