Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Singer Van Morrison denies 'unfounded' baby story

Van Morrison
Morrison said the false statement had been removed from his website

Veteran singer Van Morrison has denied reports that he had become a father again, adding they were "completely and utterly without foundation".

The Belfast-born 64-year-old said he had been the victim of an internet hacking attack that had placed "falsehoods" on his official website.

BBC News was one of several outlets to report he had had another child.

"The comments which appeared on my website did not come from me," he said, in a statement issued to the media.

The singer said he had asked his management team to carry out an immediate investigation, adding it was the second time his website had been hacked in the last three months.

He went on to say, "for the avoidance of all doubt and in the interests of clarity", that he was "very happily married to Michelle Morrison, with whom I have two wonderful children".

'Alarm bells'

A statement posted on the singer's website on Tuesday said he had had a son named George Ivan Morrison III with a woman named Gigi Lee.

A friend of Morrison's has since told the BBC News website that the singer had never heard of Ms Lee.

"One of the things that triggered alarm bells was the language used in the 'statement'," said John Saunders.

"It was so unlike him to make an announcement like this."

Mr Saunders, founder of Dublin-based public relations company Fleishman-Hillard, said it was he who informed Morrison of the original reports.

"I hesitated before making contact, but my wife said you had better do something," he said.

Morrison, whose hits include Brown Eyed Girl and Moondance, celebrated his 40th year in the music industry in 2008.

He first found fame in the 1960s as a member of the band Them, before embarking on a solo career.

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