The singer is suing British music magazine NME for defamation, claiming the publication twisted his words in a recent interview to make him appear racist.
Morrissey was quoted by the magazine as saying he would no longer live in Britain because an “immigration explosion” was stripping his native land of its identity.
“The gates are flooded and anybody can have access to England and join in,” he reportedly said.
“Other countries have held on to their basic identity yet it seems to me that England was thrown away.”
The singer’s representatives claimed the magazine’s portrayal of the singer is defamatory and false and pointed out that the writer who originally penned the piece requested that his byline be removed after his words were edited beyond his recognition.
According to a statement on his official Website (true-to-you.net), Morrissey demanded that NME issue a public apology for the piece by Thursday. When the magazine failed to come through, he initiated legal proceedings.
“We can confirm we have received two writs from Morrissey’s legal representatives pertaining to NME and its editor Conor McNicholas,” a spokesman for the magazine said on Friday.
“NME takes this matter–and the issues it highlights–extremely seriously and we are currently in discussion with our own legal representatives.”
NME editor McNicholas defended the piece, saying that it was not intended to portray Morrissey as a racist.
“Obviously no-one is accusing Morrissey of racism–that would be mad given what Morrissey says–but we do say that the language Morrissey uses is very unhelpful at a time of great tensions,” McNichols said.