DEFAMATION
Artists

Van Morrison has announced that he is launching legal action against the Mail On Sunday after the paper claimed the singer had recently fathered a child with an alleged business associate Gigi Lee. Contrary to what his own website announced, Van Morrison is apparently NOT the father of a newborn child. It seems hackers got into the Irish singer’s website and inserted the (admittedly rather amusing) story that 64-year old Van had sired a child called George Ivan Morrison III with Lee, named as his business manager,  who was not his long-term partner. John Saunders, a family friend, said that the singer had told him that hackers had taken over the website to make the announcement. A statement from Morrison released by Mr Saunders said that the claims made on his website were “completely and utterly without foundation”, adding that he was “very happily married to Michelle Morrison” and that he had asked his management team to carry out an “immediate investigation”.

It’s all a bit of a muddle though with The Times reporting that twenty-four hours before the denial one of Morrison’s management team had said that he was the source of the statement, with Phil Lobel, who has worked as the singer’s agent telling the Dublin-based Evening Herald that he had been “contacted and instructed by the two people involved, the parents, as named in the statement, to issue the release to the official website and the media”. When told of Mr Lobel’s comments, Mr Saunders admitted that it was a “bit of a mystery” adding that “Van is not the easiest guy in the world,” he told The Times. “He steps to his own tune. But I have never found anything about him that would make me think he would be dishonourable and that he would tell a lie to anyone or tell me a lie.” The question of whether Van even knows Gigi Lee is a mystery too – with Mr Saunders saying Van didn’t know Ms Lee but others proffering evidence that she was variously his business manager or his ‘tour executive producer’.  However, this was followed by further reports in the MoS the following weekend claiming that Morrison has had a long relationship with Lee, who is said to be co-director of a number of his publishing and production companies. Meanwhile Lee’s brother confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph this week that she has recently given birth. In a statement, Morrison said: “I have instructed my solicitors to institute immediately proceedings against the Mail On Sunday and will take all appropriate action to prevent repetition of these allegations”.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article6972903.ece