April 3, 2008 / 12:06 PM / 10 years ago

Morrissey wins court apology for "racist" slur

LONDON (Reuters) - British singer Morrissey won an apology in court on Thursday from the publishers of Word Magazine over suggestions he was a racist and a hypocrite.

Singer Morrissey, former frontman of The Smiths, performs at a concert in Zagreb, Croatia, July 6, 2006. REUTERS/Nikola Solic

The former Smiths frontman, who was not in court to hear the statement, is also pursuing separate legal action against music magazine NME for an article it printed last year in which he discussed his views on immigration in Britain.

In court on Thursday, Morrissey’s solicitor John Reid said that an article in the March 2008 edition of Word “could have been construed to suggest that Mr. Morrissey was a racist, held racist opinions or that (as the child of migrant parents) he was a hypocrite.

“The defendants never intended the article to have the meanings suggested above,” he added.

“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 Word publishers Development Hell, said the company offered its “sincere apologies.”

Morrissey, 48, said he was “delighted” with the court’s decision, and vowed to pursue his case against NME.

Reid added: “Ultimately, my client would rather spend his time in concert than in court. Regrettably, he has had no choice but to institute both sets of proceedings in order to clear his name.”

Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato

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