Is Morrissey ready to let bygones be bygones?
The former frontman of The Smiths received an apology today from a British magazine for publishing a 2007 article that he believes portrayed him as a racist, The Guardian reports.
The mea culpa settles a longstanding beef between the singer and NME, which turned deeply contentious—and litigious—after the singer sued the publication shortly afterward for defamation.
In the apology, the mag said, "We wish to make clear that we do not believe that he is a racist; we didn't think we were saying he was and we apologise to Morrissey if he or anyone else misunderstood our piece in that way. We never set out to upset Morrissey and we hope we can both get back to doing what we do best."
Morrissey slapped NME with a lawsuit in 2007 after it ran a story that quoted him saying that he'd no longer live in Britain because he believed that an "immigration explosion" muddled the country's national identity.
"The gates are flooded, and anybody can have access to England and join in," he said in the interview. "Other countries have held on to their basic identity yet it seems to me that England was thrown away."
The singer claimed that the mag twisted his words out of context to portray him as anti-immigration and racist, and also pointed out that the writer who originally penned the piece, Tim Jonze, requested that his byline be removed after seeing the edited article.
At the time, NME editor Conor McNicholas defended the story, saying that "obviously no one is accusing Morrissey of racism…but we do say that the language Morrissey uses is very unhelpful at a time of great tensions."
Last October, a judge ruled that Morrissey could proceed with his libel suit, and a court date had been set for next month.
In its apology, NME also made it clear that it didn't shell out any money to Morrissey as part of the settlement.
"We have said sorry to Morrissey for any misunderstanding that may have arisen. The settlement with Morrissey does not involve payment of any damages or legal costs," the mag said, noting that it did cover a "small sum of costs" stemming from an unsuccessful attempt to have the case dismissed on grounds of delay.
An NME spokeswoman told the BBC that it is "pleased it has buried the hatchet" with the singer.