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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 12:08 GMT
Van Morrison case over
Van Morrison
Van Morrison: 'I like working with different musicians'
A claim against rock star Van Morrison has ended after a former employee dropped claims of sex discrimination at an employment tribunal.

The sister of rock'n'roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis, Linda Gail Lewis, had accused Morrison, 57, of trying to ruin her life by asking her for sex and telling her to divorce her husband.

Linda Gail Lewis
Miss Lewis has appeared on over 50 albums
Miss Lewis, 54, of Penarth, south Wales, a singer-songwriter who toured with Morrison, withdrew five sex discrimination claims against the singer following six hours of legal discussion at the tribunal in Cardiff on Monday.

Neither side was prepared to comment on the terms of the settlement.

Eight-times married Miss Lewis launched the tribunal action nearly two years ago.

She claimed Morrison had "publicly humiliated" her on stage in the United States while she was touring with him.

Miss Lewis had earlier lost a claim of unfair dismissal - she had said she was sacked with three months left of a tour after working with Morrison for nine months.

However, the tribunal had ruled that five out of 13 allegations of sex discrimination would be investigated at the full hearing on Tuesday.

Morrison had denied having a sexual relationship with Miss Lewis.

He's a rock'n'roll legend but he has a reputation for doing what he wants to do without regard for anyone's feelings

Linda Gail Lewis
His solicitor Paul Tweed said: "Mr Morrison remains very disappointed that the legal process has taken nearly two years to reach this stage.

"But he's pleased that these claims have finally been withdrawn.

"He has now accepted a full apology and comprehensive retraction which represents a complete vindication of his stance from the outset.

"Miss Lewis has given a full and categorical apology and retraction to Mr Morrison."

Albums

Miss Lewis's legal representative Christine Thompson said both parties had agreed to the terms of the settlement.

"The parties are now happy to move on with their lives," she added.

Miss Lewis started her singing and songwriting career when she was 14.

Jerry Lee Lewis
Miss Lewis made albums with brother Jerry Lee Lewis
She had made six solo albums and appeared on more than 50 others, mainly with her brother.

Earlier, Miss Lewis had told the tribunal: "He is a legend and very popular with a great reputation as a song writer and singer.

"Performing with him should have raised my profile but it didn't. What I didn't realise was that he was trying to ruin my career and life.

"He exploits other musicians all the time.

"He's a rock'n'roll legend but he has a reputation for doing what he wants to do without regard for anyone's feelings."

The tribunal earlier heard Morrison had asked Miss Lewis to divorce her husband.

"He kept insisting that when I went home for Christmas 2000 I would ask my husband for a divorce and I would not have sex with him.

"His behaviour was getting bizarre."

Brother

Miss Lewis first met the singer and songwriter at a convention in America for her brother Jerry Lee Lewis eight years ago.

She said a professional and personal relationship developed some years later.

The tribunal was told they met at the King's Hotel in Newport, south Wales where they rehearsed several times.

Miss Lewis claimed she was "part and parcel" of Morrison's show, saying: "It was made clear to me they didn't want me to work for anyone else.

"They wanted an exclusive arrangement and I had to cancel other existing arrangements."

She said she had gone "a lot further than I ever should have" with Morrison.

"I do regret some of it. I really thought he was my friend when I started working with him. I thought it was wonderful.

Identification

"I didn't realise he would try to ruin my career and my life," she said.

Morrison had earlier told the tribunal all members of his band were self-employed, and therefore could not be sacked.

"I stopped touring years ago in the real sense of the word. I like to do lots of different projects and work with different musicians. "There is no need for me to have full-time employees."

An earlier reporting order banning the identification of Van Morrison was lifted by the tribunal as the case had had been withdrawn.


More from south east Wales
See also:

17 Jul 02 | Music
22 Nov 01 | N Ireland
25 Oct 01 | N Ireland
03 Jul 01 | N Ireland
Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


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