Published December 14, 2017
Outspoken British singer Morrissey vowed never to speak to the media again after claiming his recent controversial comments about Kevin Spacey were misquoted.
The former Smiths front man met a huge backlash about comments made in an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel, in which he claimed disgraced star Spacey had been “attacked unnecessarily” over allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
As outrage spread, Morrissey issued a statement he titled “The Slander System."
“A few weeks ago I foolishly allowed Germany’s Der Spiegel into my life,” he wrote. “Since they eagerly flew from beloved Berlin to beloved Los Angeles in order to talk and laugh, I assumed a common understanding.”
“Would I support Kevin Spacey’s private proclivities? No, never. Would I ever support abuse of children? No, never. Would I support sexual harassment? No, never. Would I support rape? No, never. Would Der Spiegel convey my views fairly? No, never. Would I ever again speak to print media? No, never.”
Morrissey said he had asked Der Spiegel for “unchopped, unfiddled-with audio” of his interview, as he was confident that would prove the newspaper was in the wrong: “Let that alone be your answer.”
Ask, and you shall receive. In response, Der Spiegel have posted the full, 43-minute audio of their interview with Morrissey on their website. Here’s what he had to say on the record about Spacey — now, at the singer’s own request, available to listen to in his own words as well as read.
“Of course there are extreme cases. Rape is revolting, any kind of physical attack … but we must keep it in perspective, otherwise everyone on the planet is guilty,” he said, before speaking specifically about the first allegation against Spacey to be aired publicly by actor Anthony Rapp who alleged the older star forced himself on him in a bedroom at a party.
“Kevin Spacey was 26, the boy was 14. You have to wonder where the boy’s parents were. You have to assume the boy had an inkling of what might possibly happen. I don’t know about you, but in my youth I was never in situations like that. Never. And I was always aware of how, where things could go,” he said.
“If you’re in somebody’s bedroom, you have to be aware of where it could lead to. Why are we here? Why aren’t we downstairs in the lobby? It doesn’t quite ring true to me, and it seems to me he has been unnecessarily attacked.”
In publishing the audio of the interview, Der Spiegel said it stood by the reporter who wrote the story, writing that “the magazine stands behind its reporting and has made the decision to post the audio online in response.
“Morrissey ... alleged that the fact that the magazine had not yet posted the raw audio of the interview was tantamount to an indirect admission of guilt. To counter that claim, the editors of Der Spiegel have decided to post the audio of the interview online.”