Morrissey denies claim that he asked bodyguard to 'hurt' fan

Morrissey

Singer has reportedly taken legal action against a former bodyguard, after Bradley Steyn alleged his employer had asked him to ‘hurt’ fansite editor

Morrissey has denied an allegation that he asked one of his bodyguards, Bradley Steyn, to find and “hurt” the webmaster of a major Morrissey fan website. Calling the story, originally published on gossip website TMZ “a vexatious lie”, Morrissey threatened legal action and claimed the matter is “in the hands of” Los Angeles police.

Steyn’s purported claims were first published by TMZ, who stated that Steyn is suing his former employer. “According to Steyn, Morrissey hated the guy who ran … Morrissey-solo.com, which he felt invaded his personal life,” they wrote. Steyn also claims that Morrissey allegedly asked “if there was a way the fan ‘could get hurt’”, and his tour manager enquired “if the fan ‘could be gotten rid of’”. Steyn claims that after he “rejected the overture”, he was sacked.

On Wednesday, Morrissey responded with a statement on the website True to You. Although he acknowledged that Steyn has worked for him, and that he “dislikes” Morrissey-Solo, he rejected the alleged plot as an extortion scheme and also said that he had “zero” personal involvement with the bodyguard. “The very idea that I would ask a complete stranger (Bradley Steyn) to physically attack [Morrissey-Solo webmaster] David Tseng surely cannot register with any sane person as being likely,” the singer wrote. “As mildly irritating as David Tseng may be, he is not someone who troubles me enough to even bother with.”

Tseng’s name was not part of TMZ’s original story, but Morrissey chose to name the webmaster in his post. The star has been warring with Tseng’s site for years – wearing a “FUCK MORRISSEY-SOLO.COM” T-shirt on stage and referring to the page as “SoLow”. According to Morrissey’s statement, he believes that “all of the opinions posted on [Morrissey-Solo.com] are controlled or written by David Tseng, and that David Tseng will give maximum and in-exhaustive publicity to anything said in the negative about me”.

Over at Morrissey-Solo, the singer’s fans and critics greeted this news with sadness, bemusement and disbelief. “Apparently Morrissey doesn’t understand the nature of online forums and message boards,” one wrote. While owned and moderated by Tseng, the site is peopled by hundreds of individual, often cranky, posters. “Today, we are all David Tseng,” someone quipped. “Great exposure for Morrissey-Solo!” added another.

Earlier this year, Morrissey cancelled an entire scheduled tour due to a respiratory infection he claimed to have caught from tour opener Kristeen Young. Young replied that she “[would not] tolerate these lies”, insisting that she had only been suffering from allergies.

World Peace Is None of Your Business, Morrissey’s first album in five years, was released in July. It is currently at No 12.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Sean Michaels, for theguardian.com on Thursday 31st July 2014 11.14 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010