On eve of libel trial, NME apologizes to Morrissey: ‘We do not believe he is a racist’

With Morrissey’s libel case against the NME slated to go to trial in just over a month, the music weekly today formally apologized to the ex-Smiths singer on its website, writing, “We wish to make clear that we do not believe that he is a racist; we didn’t think we were saying he was and we apologise to Morrissey if he or anyone else misunderstood our piece in that way.”

Moz sued the NME over a 2007 article that he claimed fabricated parts of an interview with him to portray him as racist. Last month, the High Court set a hearing in the case for July 16-19. The NME’s statement, which you can read in full below, goes on to say, “We never set out to upset Morrissey and we hope we can both get back to doing what we do best.”

Interestingly, a May 17 message from Morrissey about the case — which said, “Anyone wishing to offer support to Morrissey should make their presence known outside the High Court in London on these dates” — has been removed from fansite True To You, the singer’s preferred outlet for formal statements. That message also complained of the NME’s “refusal to apologize to Morrissey,” noting, “The NME recently offered to apologize to Morrissey by offering space on nme.com, but not within the printed magazine. This offer was rejected as disproportionate to the damage done to Morrissey by the NME magazine itself.”

It’s not clear whether today’s NME apology also is running in print, or whether this action signals a settlement has been reached. Read the magazine’s full statement:

 

NME says sorry to Morrissey for the misunderstanding over 2007 article

In December 2007, we published an article entitled ‘Morrissey: Big mouth strikes again’.

Following this, Morrissey began proceedings for libel against us. His complaint is that we accused him of being a racist off the back of an interview which he gave to the magazine. He believes the article was edited in such a way that made him seem reactionary.

We wish to make clear that we do not believe that he is a racist; we didn’t think we were saying he was and we apologise to Morrissey if he or anyone else misunderstood our piece in that way. We never set out to upset Morrissey and we hope we can both get back to doing what we do best.

 

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