In Brief

Morrissey: Barack Obama is white on the inside

Former Smiths singer criticises president over his response to deaths of black men at police hands

Morrissey has said that Barack Obama must be "white inside" during an interview in which he told veteran US broadcaster Larry King of his disappointment at the US president's handling of allegations of racist police brutality.

In June, Morrissey told Alternative Nation that Obama "seems to be white inside" because "he doesn't appear to support black people when they need it most". On Wednesday, King asked Morrissey about those comments for his online show.

Morrissey said: "I don't think with places like Ferguson and so on that [Obama has] really helped his own people by being more interested in forgetting about the police machinery and constantly saying 'the police are always right', 'we must listen to the police', when everybody knows that's not true.

"So is Obama … white inside? That's a very logical question, but I think he probably is."

Morrissey doesn't give many interviews, says The Guardian – but when he does he's "not shy about opening up". Other topics the two men discussed were.

Living with cancer

Last year, the 56-year-old revealed he had been treated for cancer. He told King: "Barrett's cancer, it's in the oesophagus. They scrape it occasionally and I have medication, but I'm OK. Lots of people have it and they fade away, lots of people have it and they don't fade away."

Coping with depression

The singer has said in the past that he first took antidepressants at 17. In the new interview, he added: "I've had it for many years. I refer to it as the 'black dog'. It doesn't go away. It's usually the very first thing when you wake up, there is no cure, and I think it's part of being a sensitive, open human."

Being 'groped' in an airport

In July, Morrissey told his fans he had filed a complaint against a security guard at San Francisco airport. Morrissey alleged the man groped his penis while searching him. He told King: "Would you like the absolute details? They're horrific. He put his finger down my rear cleavage.

"I had been through the full scanner and the second bit and everything was fine and clear, but then he went straight for my private bits and then he put his finger down my rear cleavage.

"The people I was with from special services said this is assault and he said: 'Well that's just your opinion.' They're above the law. Yes, I filled out a complaints thing, but nothing happened."

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