Van Morrison has won libel damages because of an Irish newspaper report that alleged he had an affair with singer Linda Gail Lewis. A lawyer for the Sunday Independent apologized for the report to Morrison and his long-term partner Michelle Rocca in Belfast’s High Court Wednesday (November 14).
The allegations had been taken from extracts of an interview Lewis did last month on an Irish television talk show. Following Lewis’s appearance on the show, Morrison issued a statement denying her claims that they had a sexual relationship, saying, “These outrageous allegations are a complete and utter fabrication.”
The newspaper’s publishers agreed not to repeat the allegations and agreed to pay Morrison substantial damages, in addition to his legal costs. Morrison’s lawyer added they have warned other publications about printing the story: “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.”
The Belfast-born Morrison, 56, who lives mainly in Dublin, recorded the duets album You Win Again last year with American singer Lewis, sister of legendary rocker Jerry Lee Lewis.
At the time of the album’s release, Lewis revealed that she and Morrison enjoy a special chemistry as singers and musicians. “If we didn’t have musical chemistry, I don’t think we’d be able to sing together,” she said. “Musically speaking, we have great chemistry. And I, I kinda know what Van’s gonna do, you know, before he does it, and he kinda knows what I’m gonna do when we’re singing together. So, our voices just go really well together, and, and we’re, we’re able to perform together ’cause I’m playing piano with him on all of his stuff. I’m doing my own stuff, and then I’m doing our stuff, then I’m doing his stuff.”
Lewis also said she and Morrison hope to record and tour together more in the future.