Van Morrison says baby story was hacker's hoax

Music veteran Van Morrison today described claims he had become a father again as "completely and utterly" unfounded.

In a statement, the 64-year-old said he had been the victim of an internet hacking attack after a message appeared on his website earlier this week announcing the birth of a new son, George Ivan Morrison III.

The widely-reported post, which has since been removed from the site, claimed producer Gigi Lee had given birth to the tot - "the spitting image of his daddy".

But the Moondance and Brown Eyed Girl singer insisted he was still happily married to Michelle Morrison - the mother of two of his children.

"Claims were made relating to my personal life in a 'statement' purporting to come from me," Morrison said.

"The comments which appeared on my website did not come from me. They are completely and utterly without foundation.

"For the avoidance of all doubt and in the interests of clarity, I am very happily married to Michelle Morrison with whom I have two wonderful children."

The notoriously private star said Tuesday's web post was the second time his website had been hacked into during the last three months.

"I have asked my management team to carry out an immediate investigation," he added.

Morrison's friend, Dublin-based public relations executive John Saunders, said the singer had been dismayed by the claims after enjoying a quiet family Christmas.

"Clearly it is upsetting for all their family and for all their friends," he told RTE Radio.

"I spoke to Van a short while ago and I said do you even know this person (Gigi Lee)?

"He's never heard the name at any stage in the past, he doesn't know who this person is."

Mr Saunders said the singer had waited so long to issue a statement in response because he was an intensely private person.

"I think he's within his right to feel that he shouldn't have to come out and comment on something that is completely false, but given the seriousness of this he has made this statement and he's emphatic that this story is completely and utterly without foundation."

The Belfast-born star, who also has a daughter aged 39 from his first marriage to Janet Minto, first found fame in the mid 1960s as a member of the band Them.

He went on to find fame in his own right with the groundbreaking album Astral Weeks in 1968.

Last year the chart veteran performed the album live in its entirety for the first time in 40 years.

A documentary film charting the experience is to be released in the near future.