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The Bluetones frontman Mark Morriss accused of abuse by ex-wife

Anna Wharton described her ex-husband as a “pathological liar and serial predator”, with Morriss denying claims of abuse and gaslighting

By Hollie Geraghty

Mark Morriss holds a microphone performing live against a blue background
Mark Morriss performing with in 2016 (Photo: Alamy).

The Bluetones’ vocalist Mark Morriss has been accused of abuse by his ex-wife.

In a blog post published yesterday (Tuesday 16) titled ‘If I’m Lying, Come Sue Me’, author and journalist Anna Wharton accused Morriss of being a “pathological liar and serial predator,” alleging years of abuse, cheating, and gaslighting.

When approached by Rolling Stone UK about the claims, Morriss said: “I completely and utterly refute the allegations of abuse and gaslighting. Beyond that, I do not wish to make further comment.”

He additionally told The Guardian that his personal life had “certainly gotten into a hell of a tangle, people have undoubtedly been hurt because of me” and that “in many ways, all this coming to light is a great relief”.

He said: “I am sincerely sorry for everything to anyone caught up here.”

Wharton began her post: “I have often talked on here, or on Twitter of my abusive ex-husband, though I have never named him. I am aware, it is not difficult to put us together though. But I have a particularly important reason for naming him now: to protect other women. 

“For too long, he has relied on telling people that I am crazy, and lying about me. He has been gaslighting women to believe what he wanted them to, convincing them not to put the dots together and realise what a narcissistic, pathological liar and serial predator he is.

“I do not use these words lightly and I will evidence why, but what I will say from the beginning is: If I’m wrong, Mark, come sue me. Because it is only defamation if it’s not true.” 

She went on to allege that shortly after they met in August 2011 they “decided to try for a baby fairly quickly”. She also claimed that Morriss told her to get an abortion and left her when she refused.

She went on to say that Morriss “made up terrible things about me”, including allegedly telling his mother that Wharton tricked him into pregnancy.

She continued: “It was always fans. Women he met at gigs. He told them we had broken up. He told them this whole ‘she tricked me’ line to get sympathy. Or himpathy, a new word I learnt the other day. Six weeks after we got married he was in bed with another fan.”

Wharton also detailed alleged accounts of women with similar experiences who she said contacted her, quoting one fan: “I was involved with your ex, only for a few weeks, a number of years ago. I remember him telling me that he had a baby daughter with his ex so that might help work out chronology.

“Embarrassingly, I was one of these women who got chatting to him at one of his gigs and was a bit flattered by the attention since I was a ‘fan’. I feel quite ashamed about that now. Whilst thankfully I never saw any physically threatening behaviour from him, I definitely did feel like his behaviour was odd and a bit manipulative at times and it did leave me feeling pretty shit about myself.”

Wharton also alleged that her ex-husband was physically and verbally abusive on more than one occasion, describing him as a “tyrant” in their home. 

“He was finally cautioned by police for throttling me, only because I took a photo of the eight fingerprints around my neck – what a thing you should have to think of straight after an act of violence like that, but otherwise I would never have been believed.” she wrote. 

“He’d been spoken to by the police before but he always told them I was lying. It was his word against mine, and… well, you know who people tend to believe, the perpetrator who said he didn’t do it.”

She also recalled reuniting with him in May 2019. “I still haven’t confessed to some of my friends that I gave him another chance. I was ashamed of myself. But the thing about abusive men is that they make your life so intolerable if you leave them, that you take them back, which I did,” she wrote.

Wharton alleged that Morriss is “living several lives”, saying that he removed his wedding ring to play gigs on Zoom. She continued: “he told me you can’t play guitar with a ring on. When I pointed out that other guitarists did, he told me to put my dinner in some Tupperware and fuck off out of his house.”

In a photo posted in the article, Wharton is pictured with two other women mentioned in the piece who claimed to be involved with Morriss at the same time. “It’s easy to burn one witch…” she wrote on Twitter. “Britpop, can you feel your #metoo moment heating up?”

She closed the piece: “So many people dismiss the frontman of a band who cheats, they say the women who love them should expect it, ” adding that Morriss told her “You knew what my job was when you met me.”

“And I’ve been a journalist my whole life, I call out injustices,” she continued. “I write about them, I hold people accountable for their actions. So I’ve got one thing to say in reply: “And you knew mine.””

The Bluetones vocalist has since been dropped from The Big Britpop Family Party event lineup this weekend, with organisers citing “unforeseen circumstances”.

Catherine Anne Davies, who performs under the moniker The Anchoress and has collaborated with Morriss’ side band The Helicopter Of The Holy Ghost, has also distanced herself.

She wrote on Facebook: “Following the revelations about Mark Morriss that have been published today, I will be having no further involvement with the collaborative project The Helicopter of The Holy Ghost going forwards. Solidarity with all the women coming forwards. Believe women.”

The Helicopter Of The Holy Ghost band member Billy Reeves also addressed the allegations.

“I’ve been made aware, this morning of the blog post by Mark’s ex-partner about his behaviour,” he wrote on Facebook.

“This is obviously very serious. The future, if there is one, of The Helicopter Of The Holy Ghost shows will be made clear in due course.”

Morriss, 50, founded The Bluetones formed in 1993, releasing early singles on Fierce Panda Records before signing to A&M Records and reaching No 1 with their debut album, ‘Expecting to Fly’, which arrived in 1996.

The follow-up album, ‘Return to the Last Chance Saloon’, reached No 10 in the UK albums chart.

They parted ways in 2011, but re-formed for a tour that celebrated Britpop in 2017. Morriss is also an active solo musician.