Morrissey May Be Allowed to Sue NME

Singer pursuing a libel case against rock magazine

Morrissey performs live on stage at Brixton Academy in London. Credit: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Mr. Justice Tugendhat, Britain's most senior libel judge, is in the process of deciding whether Morrissey has the grounds to pursue a lawsuit against NME. The former Smiths singer is seeking to sue the magazine's publisher, IPC Media, and former editor Conor McNicholas, over an interview published on November 28th, 2007, which he claims portrayed him as a racist and a xenophobe.

In the interview, Morrissey was quoted as saying that "the gates of England are flooded. The country's been thrown away… Although I don't have anything against people from other countries, the higher influx into England, the more the British identity disappears." The singer says his reputation has been damaged ever since the interview was released.

Photos: Random Notes
If Mr. Justice Tugendhat allows the case, it will be the first libel case heard before a jury in the United Kingdom in over two years. Since libel cases are often complex, expensive and quite long, British judges tend to avoid them.