IPC, publisher of the NME and Morrissey have announced they are settling their recent legal dispute. Morrisey was suing the publisher and then editor of NME Connor McNicholas over an interview the music weekly ran with him back in 2007 in which the singer appeared to say that an “immigration explosion” had damaged Britain’s identity. Morrissey immediately hit out at the magazine and its then editor Conor McNicholas, arguing they had twisted his words to make him look racist, so that the interview would be more sensational and sell more copies. The NME always denied any such editorial meddling. In November last year Mr Justice Tugendhat allowed the case to proceed despite a four year delay.
The NME have now published an apology for the ‘misunderstanding’ which reads “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”. The apology continues: “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”.
IPC then issued a further statement to Music Week saying: “NME is pleased that it has buried the hatchet with Morrissey in respect of the libel case he brought against us. Morrissey sued over an article based on interviews with him which he believed accused him of racism” adding “After an on-going dialogue with Morrissey and his representatives, NME today publishes a clarification in the magazine and online which makes it clear that we do not believe we ever called Morrissey a racist and nor do we believe he is. We have said sorry to Morrissey for any misunderstanding that may have arisen”.
Giving details of the actual settlement, the company said: “The settlement with Morrissey does not involve payment of any damages or legal costs (other than the small sum of costs which the court ordered NME to pay last year when we applied unsuccessfully to have the case struck out on grounds of delay)”.