Europe

Van Morrison settles PR case related to paternity denials

Van Morrison singing Image copyright PA
Image caption Van Morrison has always denied being the father of Ms Lee's child

Singer Van Morrison has agreed a settlement in a court case brought against him by publicist John Saunders.

Mr Saunders gave interviews on Mr Morrison's behalf claiming he did not know Gigi Lee, a woman who alleged Van Morrison had fathered her child in 2009.

It later emerged that Ms Lee worked as a manager on some of Mr Morrison's tours.

Mr Saunders started proceedings against the Belfast-born singer in 2012.

Counsel for Mr Saunders told the High Court in Dublin, Ireland, the two sides had reached an agreement over fallout from the allegations, "on terms that include a letter that the plaintiff John Saunders acted with integrity and on the express instructions of the defendant Van Morrison".

The letter from Mr Morrison to Mr Saunders is not being published.

Undisclosed damages and legal costs have also been agreed.

Website announcement

In 2009 a statement was posted on Mr Morrison's website announcing the birth of George Ivan Morrison III, or 'Little Van', as he was known. It was quickly removed and declared a hoax.

Mr Morrison employed Mr Saunders, a top public relations figure in Dublin and across Europe, to conduct a series of interviews on his behalf to deny reports that Mr Morrison was the father or that he knew the mother.

Mr Morrison, 69, has always denied being the boy's father. He has two children with his wife, former Miss Ireland, Michele Rocca.

Tragedy

George Ivan Morrison III died aged 13 months after reportedly suffering a diabetic coma.

Ms Lee, from Texas, USA, suffered throat cancer and died in the Marie Curie hospice in Belfast in October 2011 at the age of 44.

Mr Morrison biggest hits include Brown Eyed Girl and Moondance. His music career spans more than 45 years.

Mr Saunders' solicitor said his client was happy with the outcome of the court case.

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