The high court has given Morrissey the go-ahead to pursue a libel case against the British weekly music publication the NME. The publication was seeking for the action to be “struck out” when we last reported on this story, but now it looks like the former Smiths singer is going to get the publication before a jury at some point in the New Year.
Morrissey’s claim comes after the NME published a story in 2007 in which the singer claims his words were misenterpretd to make him appear to be racist. According to the Quietus, Mr. Justice Tugendhat has written the following about the case:
“Overall, in my judgment a proper balance between the Article 10 right of freedom of expression of [NME magazine] and Mr. Morrissey’s right to the protection of his individual reputation requires, in the circumstances of this case, that the action be permitted to proceed.”
A statement has also been issued by Morrissey, which reads as follows:
“In 2007 the NME viciously attacked me and labelled me a racist and a hypocrite. Last week they sought to avoid facing me in court to settle the matter once and for all. I am delighted that the NME’s attempt to stifle my claim was unsuccessful and that as a result I will be able to use the very public forum of the high court in London to clear my name, loud and clear for all to hear.”
That high court date is likely to be far off in the future, so don’t hold your breath waiting for a resolution to this case just yet. When it does play out in court there’s likely to be a considerable media focus on the battle between these two sparring partners, who enjoyed a more harmonious relationship during the Smiths’ ‘80s heyday.
Here’s NME’s statement on the issue:
“NME recently sought to strike out Morrissey’s claim on grounds of a lengthy delay. After almost four years, we are glad that the matter will now proceed to trial and we will finally get the opportunity to bring this matter to a close.”