Morrissey has lost his appeal against a previous court action that mandated the former Smiths singer pays an estimated $1.7 million to ex-Smiths drummer Mike Joyce. The original judge, Judge Weeks, had ruled that instead of the 10 percent share of the band's profits that Joyce had received, he and bassist Andy Rourke were entitled to equal shares along with Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr. Morrissey and Marr had previously cut themselves in for 40 percent each. Rourke was part of the original action when it was first launched in the late 1980s, but later settled for an amount just under $150,000.
According to British press reports, Morrissey launched an appeal of the decision saying that Judge Weeks had let his personal feelings cloud his decision. Morrissey's lawyers described the judge's actions as an "unjust and gratuitous attack" on Morrissey's character. Weeks had described Morrissey as "devious, truculent and unreliable.
Morrissey had maintained that he
and Marr had been the songwriters and musical directors and had been in charge of the band's business affairs while Rourke and Joyce just played their instruments as the backing rhythm section. He said that the pair knew they would receive the lessor percentage. But the appeals court ruled that it was "simply unsustainable" that the members weren't working as a band of equal partners.
The Smiths broke up after five years together in 1987 when Marr left the band, reportedly over personal and musical differences with Morrissey.