The first of the libel cases in Morrissey’s 2008 diary has ended with him accepting an apology from Word magazine over an album review the singer said portrayed him as a racist and hypocrite.
The former frontman of The Smiths is also pursuing a separate action against NME over racism allegations stemming from an interview it published last year. It reported that the iconic singer discussed the U.K.’s immigration policy and lamented how British identity has disappeared.
John Reid, Morrissey’s solicitor, told Mr. Justice Eady that the closing paragraph of a March 2008 album review in the Word could be construed to suggest the singer is a racist, held racist opinions or that, as the child of migrant parents, is a hypocrite.
Publisher Development Hell and Word editor Mark Ellen say they never intended the article to have the suggested meanings and want to make it clear that they disassociated themselves from any such inferences.
Caroline Kean, who acted for the publisher and the magazine, said they offered their sincere apologies and accept it would be absurd to accuse the singer of being racist or of espousing racist views. They also accept that he was not a hypocrite.
"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," read a statement on Morrissey’s behalf.
Moving on to the NME case, he said the paper has "calculatedly" tried to damage his integrity and label him as a racist.
"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."
The weekly music magazine says it’s sticking by its article and that it will produce evidence of what Morrissey told reporter Tim Jonze.