Sinead about smoking and her new album

Sinead O'Connor talks exclusively to Hot Press

Sinead O'Connor isn't exactly one to take things lying down, and some US websites are about to find this out for themselves. In an exclusive chat with Hot Press she puts the story straight and talks about her next album. Only here folks!

She has taken 'cease and desist' action against a number of US websites, who've recently published a photo, which, they claimed, showed her smoking whilst pregnant.

Talking exclusively this week to Hotpress, the singer insists that the allegations are completely without foundation.

'The paparazzi took a photograph of me, wearing a baggy jumper, with my boyfriend in Manhattan, which a couple of websites took as pictorial proof that I was heavily pregnant, O'Connor says. 'If I had been heavily pregnant, I wouldn't have been stupid enough to smoke a cigarette out in the street in front of a bunch of paparazzi.

'Anyway, they ran a bunch of stories that said I was pregnant and smoking, which lead to some very violent remarks being made on these sites from the various losers who frequent them. One of the milder ones was that I should be beaten up for smoking whilst pregnant, which of course would be very good for my unborn baby.

'As it happens, I am nine weeks pregnant at the moment, which I didn't become for a few weeks after that photograph was taken, Sinéad continues.

Threatened with legal action by her American lawyer Rob Cohen, one site immediately apologised and took down the offending photo but others have yet to admit or rectify their error.

'These are the type of sites that put up stories and invite comments, a number of which in this instance were incitements of violence towards me, she resumes. 'There were calls for me to be shot, beaten up and all kinds of things. I was also included in a list of supposedly 'Bad Celebrity Mothers' alongside Britney Spears.

'The way they go after her, a mere girl, is a fucking joke, Sinéad adds.

On a more upbeat note, O'Connor has finished recording a double album, Theology, which is due in October. The collection gets one of its first public airings on June 4 when she lines up alongside Solas, Martin Hayes & Denis Cahill, Mairiad & Triona Ni Domnaill and Guggenheim Grotto at the Sligo Live Festival.

'It's the same songs on each 'side', but performed with just acoustic guitar and voice on one, and full band and production on the other, Sinéad explains. 'The former which I'm calling the 'Dublin Side' was done with Steve Cooney, and the latter the 'London Side' was done with a hip hop/pop producer called Ron Tom, who's recorded people like the Sugababes. What I'll be performing is the acoustic version, plus four or five older songs, yet to be decided.

American fans get their turn in August when O'Connor joins Ziggy Marley, Michael Franti and Barrington Levy at California's Reggae On The River festival.

(c) 2006 The Hot Press Newsdesk