Morrissey is attempting to sue UK music press NME after claims that the magazine come website portrayed him as a “racist and a blatant hypocrite” according to The Guardian in Britain.
Morrissey has claimed that the NME “deliberately twisted” his words to make him appear racist.
A British senior libel judge will decide whether or not the former Smiths frontman can set a High Court date for his accusations against the magazine made almost 4 years ago. The singer’s lawyers notified the court on Tuesday that he is willing to be cross-examined as a witness if the trial goes ahead.
Morrissey will be suing Conor McNicholas, who was the editor at the time, and the magazine’s publisher, IPC Media.
McNicholas’s solicitor argues that there should be no case because the three-year delay shows that Morrissey isn’t really interested and that the length of time has shown that it has not damaged his reputation, while the solicitor acting for the singer told the High Court that racism allegations against Morrissey have become “part of the record” and his comments to NME are brought up “to show he’s got form for this”.
A decision will be made within a few weeks. The complexity, expense and length of libel trials means they are often avoided, with only the last libel trial to be heard back in 2009.