VAN MORRISON WINS LIBEL CASE

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The Sunday Independent printed an interview which alleged the star had an affair with the sister of Jerry Lee Lewis...

VAN MORRISON has been awarded substantial damages by BELFAST HIGH COURT today (November 14) after winning his libel case against an Irish newspaper which alleged he had had an affair with American singer GAIL ANN LEWIS.

Morrison had sued the Sunday Independent, which printed extracts from an interview Lewis – sister of rock’n’roll great Jerry Lee Lewis – had given to local Ulster Television programme Kelly last month when she claimed they had had a sexual affair.

A solicitor for the Sunday Independent read an apology to the veteran Irish singer/songwriter and his long-term partner Michelle Rocha in the High Court today (November 14), BBC reports. The Sunday Independent also said they accepted there was absolutely no truth in the allegation. The paper’s publisher’s Independent Newspapers Ltd. agreed not to repeat the allegations and to pay damages and all costs.

After Lewis appearance on Kelly, Morrison issued a statement denying her claims of an affair.

Morrison’s solicitor said today: “Hopefully this full retraction and apology will put an end to the publication of these totally false allegations in the press.”

However, he made it clear that legal action was being taken against others that had repeated the claim. He said a libel writ had been served on Ulster Television.

“We have also put on notice The Mail on Sunday, The Irish Star and the Daily and Sunday Mirror our intention to issue libel proceedings if we do not receive a satisfactory response and proposals forthwith,” he added. “Mr Morrison will also be seeking substantial damages and we have instructions to issue libel proceedings if we do not receive an immediate and satisfactory response.”