A few months ago, we learned that Morrissey was taking legal action against NME, accusing the magazine of slander against his person, in a text published in November 2007 in which he feels he's being portrayed as a racist, because of declarations such as the following: "The gates of England are flooded. The country's been thrown away... Although I don't have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England the more the British identity disappears." Now, a few weeks before the trial starts, the music weekly has issued the following statement:
“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 on the basis of an interview which he gave to the magazine. He believes the article was edited in such a way that it 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.”
A month ago, NME offered to put up a formal apology on its website, which Morrissey deemed “disproportionate to the damage done”. What we don't know is if this statement will be published on paper or not. The trial will take place between 16th and 19th July.
Update: According to Music Week, following NME's apology, Morrissey and NME have settled the libel case. A representative from NME told Music Week:
"NME is pleased that it has buried the hatchet with Morrissey in respect of the libel case he brought against us in 2007.
Morrissey sued over an article based on interviews with him which he believed accused him of racism.
After an ongoing 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.
The settlement with Morrissey does not involve payment of any damages or legal costs (other than a 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)".