The backtracking in question was actually done by Word magazine, who, in their March 2008 edition, repeated allegations made in the NME issued on the 1st of December.
The Word apologised for intimations made in the closing paragraphs of an article by David Quantick. A statement read out by Morrissey’s solicitor ran thus:
“It has been drawn to the Defendants’ [Word] attention that the closing paragraphs of Mr Quantick’s article could have been construed to suggest that Mr Morrissey was a racist, held racist opinions or that (as the child of migrant parents) he was a hypocrite. The article suggested that Mr Morrissey has in the past paid lip service only to anti-racism.
“The Defendants never intended the article to have the meanings suggested above,” continued the former Smiths man’s solicitor John Reid; “and wish to make absolutely clear that they disassociate themselves entirely from any such inferences that might be drawn from the article.
“The Defendants accept that it would be absurd to accuse Mr Morrissey of being a racist or of espousing racist views. They equally accept that Mr Morrissey is not a hypocrite, in relation in particular to the views he has expressed in the past in relation to British cultural identity.
“The Defendants accept that Mr Morrissey is well known as a keen supporter of anti-racist groups and the Defendants wish to make absolutely clear that they never intended the article to suggest that Mr Morrissey was anything other than a sincere supporter of anti-racism initiatives.
“The Defendants wish to take this opportunity to apologise to Mr Morrissey for any offence or distress that he may have been caused by the closing paragraphs of the article and are happy to make the position clear.”
The statement was confirmed by Word’s defence lawyers.
“I am obviously delighted with this victory and the clearing of my name in public where it is loud and clear for all to hear. The NME have calculatedly tried to damage my integrity and to label me as a racist in order to boost their diminishing circulation.
“Word magazine made the mistake of repeating those allegations, which they now accept are false and, as a result, have apologised in Open Court. I will now continue to pursue my legal action against the NME and its editor until they do the same.”
NME - scared, do you think?
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