Bigmouth's revenge - will Morrissey succeed in court?

As Mediabeak reported in DecemberMorrissey is suing the NME and its editor for defamation claiming their cut and paste style interview with him had misrepresented him as out of touch and xenophobic. Writing in the Press Gazette, Caroline Kean questions whether he indeed has a case to support his defamation action. She highlights the defences of consent to publication and fair comment and asks if the NME might be able to make either defence stand up.

Mediabeak observes that this will be down to the context of the overall article and manner in which the comments that have been attributed to Morrissey were elicited and subsequently used. While he may have consented to do ‘an interview’ that does not automatically mean he waives his rights in relation to the publication. The consent has to be informed and fair in the overall context.

The recent case of Lowe v the Times where Southampton football boss Rupert Lowe won a staggering £250,000 damages over comments by a columnist that he had behaved 'shabbily' could provide guidance here. The judgment came as a shock to the media as its implications are wide reaching.

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