Morrison says 'new baby' story a hoax by web hacker
Singer Van Morrison has finally moved to clear up confusion about reports he had become a father for the fourth time.
A hoax, posted by a hacker on Van Morrison's website, falsely claimed the singer (64) had a baby with a woman called Gigi Lee.
But the reclusive singer issued a statement on New Year's Eve saying he is happily married to former model Michelle Rocca.
The earlier reports were carried by news organisations worldwide after a Los Angeles based public relations consultant, who has represented Morrison in the past, apparently confirmed the claim on Tuesday.
However, the statement issued by Van Morrison said: "I have asked my management team to carry out an immediate investigation into a hacking attack which took place on my website on December 29th last.
"This is the second occasion on which the website has been hacked into during the last three months. In this most recent incident, claims were made relating to my personal life in a "statement'' purporting to come from me.
"Once these claims were brought to our attention, they were taken down from the site but not before news organisations repeated these falsehoods. The comments which appeared on my website did not come from me. They are completely and utterly without foundation.
"For the avoidance of all doubt and in the interests of clarity, I am very happily married to Michelle Morrison with whom I have two wonderful children."
The statement from the singer came as the source of confirmation for the story, the Los Angeles public relations consultant, dodged the media yesterday.
Phil Lobel, a longtime Los Angeles publicist, lists entertainment clients -- including Van Morrison -- on his company website.
But he has dodged media questions since confirming the birth of a baby, fathered by Van Morrison.
News agency AP sent a reporter to the West Hollywood offices of his PR company, Lobeline Communications.
Later AP received an email from Lobeline's office saying his office had "passed along information from the official website of Van Morrison, which we are now told had been hacked". A statement said he "regrets any confusion it may have caused" to those involved.