Morrissey Takes 'Racism' Battle to U.K. Court

3:31 AM PST 10/18/2011 by Ralf Ludemann
Ian Gavan/Getty Images

NME interview in 2007 quoted former Smiths frontman complaining of an "immigration explosion" in Britain.

LONDON - Morrissey is attempting to sue NME magazine over a 2007 interview, which he believes portrayed him as a racist, according to The Guardian.

Lawyers for the former Smiths frontman told the high court in London on Monday that the singer "continues to suffer" reputational damage from a controversial interview he gave to NME magazine four years ago in which he complained about an "immigration explosion" leading to a loss of British identity.

In a written submission, Morrissey said his comments received "a barrage of press" at the time, and added: "Question marks over my being a racist have never since receded".

Morrissey is attempting to sue NME's former editor Conor McNicholas and its publisher, IPC Media, for libel over the interview. Although he was not in court for the hearing, Morrissey could be cross-examined before a jury if a trial goes ahead. Despite being dogged by fresh accusations in recent years, Morrissey has consistently denied being a racist.

Morrissey threatened legal action against the magazine in November 2007, days after the interview was published.

Britain's most senior libel judge, Mr Justice Tugendhat, is expected to decide on Tuesday whether the claim should go to trial. 

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