Morrissey wins court apology over 'racism slur' article

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Morrissey, former frontman, of The Smiths, has accepted an apology from the magazine The Word over an album review that the singer claimed made him out to be a racist and a hypocrite.

Morrissey objected to the last paragraph of a review by David Quantick of his latest greatest hits album and took them to court over it.

The singer is also pursuing a separate libel action against NME magazine over racism allegations stemming from an interview it published with him last year in which the singer was said to have discussed the UK's immigration policy and lamented how British identity had disappeared.

Mr Quantick's review, which was less than complementary of Morrissey's latest musical offering, concluded: "For his waving of the flag (for publicity too, it would seem), for his ingrained habit of paying lip service to anti-racism while talking like an old Tory immigration spokesman, and for his abandonment of everything that made The Smiths a band for outsiders, Morrissey should be ashamed of himself."

The review also said the singer "should know better than to attack immigration" because his parents came from an immigrant background themselves.

Morrissey's solicitor, John Reid, said the article could have been construed to suggest that his client was a racist, "held racist opinions or that [as the child of migrant parents] he was a hypocrite". He added: "The defendants never intended the article to have the meanings suggested above. The defendants accept that it would be absurd to accuse Mr Morrissey of being a racist or of espousing racist views. They equally accept that Mr Morrissey is not a hypocrite."

Caroline Kean, representing The Word's publisher, Development Hell, said the company offered its "sincere apologies". Development Hell refused to comment any further on the case when contacted yesterday or to confirm whether it had paid any damages.

Morrissey was not in court yesterday but used the apology to launch a scathing attack on the NME. He said in a statement: "I am obviously delighted with this victory and the clearing of my name in public, where it is loud and clear for all to hear. The NME have calculatedly tried to damage my integrity and to label me as a racist."

He added: "Word magazine made the mistake of repeating those allegations, which they now accept are false and, as a result, have apologised in open court. I will now continue to pursue my legal action against the NME and its editor until they do the same."

NME has stuck by the article and says it will produce evidence of what Morrissey told its reporter Tim Jonze.

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