Morrissey's Libel Lawsuit Against NME Heading to Trial

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Former Smiths frontman Morrissey is never one to shy away from bold proclamations, but he won't stand for publications putting words in his mouth.

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In 2007, one of the most popular U.K. music magazines, NME, linked the "Irish Blood, English Heart" singer to British anti-immigration statements in an interview. Morrissey and then-manager Merck Mercuriadis claimed "character assassination" and announced an intention to sue after the magazine reportedly distorted Moz's views and failed to apologize.

Now, finally, Morrissey's libel lawsuit against NME has been granted a trial, despite the publication protesting that the claim should be removed due to inactivity since May 2008. A judge, Mr. Justice Tugendhat, is allowing the case to be tried, citing Morrissey's "very serious claim" and "credible" explanations for delaying the lawsuit. (The explanation namely being a lack of assistance from former manager Mercuriadis, according to the lawyers who appeared on Morrissey's behalf in court.)

According to the BBC, the judge added: "The imputation complained of in this action is a very serious one, the extent of publication was very wide.

"Mr Morrissey remains a prominent figure in the world of music, and NME is a magazine which enjoys an important place in that world."

It is unlikely that the trial will take place before summer 2012.

The quotes attributed to Morrissey that tipped off the lawsuit, which appeared in a 2007 issue of NME, read as follows: "Although I don't have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England the more the British identity disappears. So the price is enormous.

"If you travel to Germany, it's still absolutely Germany. If you travel to Sweden, it still has a Swedish identity. But travel to England and you have no idea where you are."