It's been a tough summer for Morrissey.
After first being mobbed on stage by fans at a show, then cancelling a planned tour due to illness, the singer has now been sued by a man who claims he was fired as Morrissey's bodyguard after refusing an request by the singer's manager to do away with the administrator of a Morrissey fan site, reports Rolling Stone.
What did Morrissey have to say in response to these allegations? And is getting fired for refusing to commit a crime grounds for a wrongful termination suit?
The singer was quick to respond to these allegations. In a posting on a different fan site, Morrissey stated his personal involvement with the man who filed the suit, Bradley Steyn "has been zero" and that Steyn's claim that Morrissey asked him to kill David Tseng -- the administrator of Morrissey fan site morrissey-solo.com, who Morrissey has criticized in the past -- was a "vexatious lie."
Steyn's lawsuit claims that Morrissey hired him as a bodyguard following the mobbing incident during a concert in San Jose, CA earlier this year. Soon thereafter, Steyn claims that Morrissey asked him if he would physically harm David Tseng, reports Rolling Stone. Morrissey's manager then allegedly asked Steyn if Tseng "could be gotten rid of."
Steyn claims he refused and was fired the next day.
Employees who are discharged from their jobs for unlawful reasons may have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.
In general, an employee cannot be fired from their job for refusing to perform an illegal act. In this case, if Steyn was able to prove that Morrissey or another of his supervisors asked him to commit a crime -- in this case battery, or even potentially murder -- and could also prove that his refusal to do so was the reason he was fired, he may have a legitimate cause of action for wrongful termination.
However, Steyn's claims, if false, may come back to haunt him. In Morrissey's response, the singer warned that Steyn's statement "is now in the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department, and is subject to both criminal and civil action."
- Morrissey Bodyguard Lawsuit -- He Wanted Me to F*** Up Fan Club Honcho (TMZ)
- As I Lay Dying's Tim Lambesis Sentenced for Plotting to Kill Wife (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- 'Silk Road' Founder Faces Murder-for-Hire Charges (FindLaw's Blotter)
- When Can You Sue for Wrongful Termination? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)