It’s not every day Morrissey lands on TMZ, but thanks to an alleged murder-for-hire plot lobbied by the laconic singer’s alleged “head of security,” Moz is dealing with some legal issues today that make his tour-cancelling illness seem benign. In a lawsuit, a man named Bradley Steyn says Morrissey hired him as a bodyguard after fans rushed the singer onstage during a concert in San Jose, California. From there, things became a bit more nefarious, with Steyn claiming that the World Peace Is None of Your Business crooner asked if he’d physically harm the webmaster of morrissey-solo.com, a fansite that has publicly engaged in a war of words with the singer.
On top of that, Steyn states that Morrissey’s tour manager asked the bodyguard if the webmaster, later revealed as David Tseng, “could be gotten rid of.” When Steyn rejected Morrissey and his tour manager’s violent overtures, he was canned the next day. Since Steyn claims he was hired after the San Jose gig in early May, that means all this went down in the past few months.
However, Morrissey was quick to deny the allegations, posting a long statement on True to You, the Morrissey fansite endorsed by the singer that serves as a frequent platform for his statements. “I cannot admit to actually ‘knowing’ Bradley Steyn,” wrote the singer. “Yes, I am aware that he is South African and that he lives in Los Angeles, and that he has ‘walked off’ three Morrissey tours – which really is his own business, not mine. My personal involvement with him has been zero, and he has certainly never been Head Of Security on any Morrissey tour.
“I am aware of the false story he has placed on various news sites wherein he claims I asked him to ‘hurt’ (kill?) David Tseng,” added Morrissey. “Although Steyn’s story lends itself to its own ridicule, I feel I must say to those who have not yet worked it out, that the story is a vexatious lie.”
Moz continued to verbally attack Steyn – and, subtly, Tseng – with the same vitriol he usually reserves for anyone who’s not a vegetarian: “The shabby truth of this drama is that Bradley Steyn has been trying to extract money from what he terms ‘The Morrissey tour‘, and he has failed. He is now desperate, and this story is his latest escapade to gain someone’s attention” and “The very idea that I would ask a complete stranger (Bradley Steyn) to physically attack David Tseng surely cannot register with any sane person as being likely. As mildly irritating as David Tseng may be, he is not someone who troubles me enough to even bother with.”
Morrissey ends his statement by noting that Steyn’s claims are now “in the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department and is subject to both criminal and civil action.” Steyn’s lawsuit caps what’s been a rough year for the former Smiths singer. First, Morrissey was bum-rushed onstage in San Jose, and was accused the next night of trying to get a We Are Scientists/PAWS gig in Santa Ana, California canceled. Ultimately, Morrissey’s trek in support of his new LP was nixed after the singer was struck with “a horrendous cold,” which caused some additional finger pointing.