Mystery still surrounds Van Morrison’s ‘Little Van’
Friends and colleagues say baby’s mother Gigi Lee was singer’s tour manager
Has Van Morrison fathered a child at the age of 64 or not? Last week a message appeared on the singer’s official website announcing the birth of his fourth child, a baby boy named George Ivan Morrison III. "Little Van", the statement read, had been born on December 28 to the Have I Told You Lately singer and Gigi Lee. The baby was described as "the spitting image of his daddy".
While it seemed strange that Morrison – who is not only famously private but also married to Michelle Rocca, a former Miss Ireland – would announce the news in this way, the story was picked up by the world’s media. The reports described 42-year-old Lee as his US producer and even his wife.
Morrison was forced to interrupt his "quiet lovely Christmas" to deny the story which he said was "completely and utterly without foundation". The hoax was the result of computer hackers, he said, adding that it was the second time in three months his site had been breached. In a statement he said he was "very happily married" to Michelle "with whom I have two wonderful children".
In support of the singer, one of his friends, John Saunders, a Dublin-based public relations executive, told RTE Radio that Morrison had "never heard the name" of Gigi Lee. "He doesn't even know who this person is."
This, however, turned out not to be true. Several close friends and colleagues of both Van Morrison and Gigi Lee came forward to explain that Lee was the singer’s tour manager and the director of 14 of his companies. On Saturday, Morrison's lawyers said that it had been "incorrectly" stated that the singer did not know Gigi.
Morrison’s long-time backing singer Bianca Thornton told the Mail on Sunday that John Saunders' claim that Morrison did not know Gigi Lee was "very odd". She added: "Everyone knows Gigi".
A journalist with the American newspaper LA Weekly Scott Foundas described Lee as Van Morrison's executive tour manager. Foundas told the Mail that Gigi was "the person to go to for anything to do with Van, she takes care of everything". He added: "I cannot imagine why this PR executive would claim he doesn’t know Gigi. That doesn't seem right at all."
Carla Higdon, a close friend of Gigi Lee's, told the Mail that Lee told her last June she was expecting a "little Van". According to Higdon, Lee met Van Morrison through fellow Texan Rosy Hall, the sister of Jerry Hall and the then sister-in-law of Mick Jagger. "She told me that while she was in London, she met Van at a party at Ronnie Wood's place," said Higdon. "She sounded very excited… I don’t know if Gigi knew he had a wife, but she never mentioned it to me." ·