Van Morrison Is Getting Sued Over COVID Remarks

Northern Ireland's health minister accuses him of slander
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2021 6:29 AM CST
A Health Official Is Suing Van Morrison
Van Morrison performs at the 46th annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala in New York in this file photo.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Van Morrison hates lockdown rules so much he's written songs about it. Now, it looks like he'll have to go to court to defend some of his statements. Northern Ireland's health minister is suing the singer for defamation, reports Belfast's Sunday Life. Robin Swann took legal action after the 76-year-old Morrison publicly lashed out against him because of COVID rules imposed by the government. The most notable incident occurred in June, after Swann banned live shows, forcing Morrison to call off one at the last minute. Morrison addressed a group of people who were supposed to attend and began a chant of "Robin Swann is very dangerous," per the Guardian. (Watch it here.)

The singer later doubled down in his criticism of Swann in comments to a reporter and on his YouTube channel. “He’s a fraud," Morrison said. "I believe he’s a fraud. Why should I regret it?” Swann fired back in a Rolling Stone essay in which he wrote that Morrison's words "will give great comfort to the conspiracy theorists—the tin foil hat brigade who crusade against masks and vaccines." (Morrison objects to mask rules, too.) Swann has hired prominent libel lawyer Paul Tweed, whose clients have included celebs such as Justin Timberlake and Harrison Ford as well as at least one prominent politician, Northern Ireland's Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein. (More Van Morrison stories.)

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