Sinead calls Louis Walsh a 'cruel vampire'

Sunday December 28th 2003

SINGER Sinead O'Connor has launched a blistering attack on pop impresario Louis Walsh in response to his claims last week that she was a "wasted talent" and is "difficult".
In what has become an acrimonious and deeply personal feud between two of the biggest names in the music industry, Ms O'Connor makes a devastating critique of Walsh, of boy bands and of the You're a Star instant famephenomenon.
"You have been a slave-driver of young people," she writes. "I have seen the way you work them. And you are gonna get burned."
Replying to his remarks in last week's Sunday Independent, denounces the chauvinism of the pop industry. Yesterday, Louis Walsh refused to respond, saying: "I'm not going to retaliate, it's not worth it. It's too easy to slag her off."
She rails against the "nastiness and cruel ignorance" of Mr Walsh, who created Boyzone and still manages Westlife, Samantha Mumba, Girls Aloud and Bellefire, and calls him "a vampire".
"There must be a heart in there somewhere," she says. "Who squashed it with cruel talk, so that you bully every time you open your mouth to speak?" She tells Walsh: "You have single-handedly taken the soul out of Irish music and danced a vampire dance upon it."
Of the artists in his stable, she says they "can't even sing in their own accents. Because of you, scores of young people want 'fame' so much that they are prepared to humiliate themselves by coming on crap shows like the awful one you are involved with."
O'Connor is angry at the treatment handed out to young hopefuls. "They have themselves subjected to abuse from you and other C-list so-called 'celebs' who seem to have no ability to respect the soft hearts of people who need love so much that they think fame is how they will get it."
In an interview with Barry Egan in last week's Sunday Independent, Louis Walsh said of Sinead O'Connor, "I do love her music but I think she's difficult," and described her as "a wasted talent".
In response, she writes: "You do not know me, so you presume that singing was my only talent. I am a mother first and foremost. And that is my premier talent."
Last week, O'Connor had phoned Walsh to ask him to explain his remarks. "When I rang you last Monday to ask how you could know if I am professionally 'difficult', you stated that you don't know, but someone told you. So what are you doing making like other people's opinions are yours?" she writes in today's Sunday Independent. "You are a vampire, Louis Walsh. God of a vampire business, a fake reality. A false God with no apparent soul of your own to feed upon. And seemingly no bleedin' mind of your own either," she blasts.
Ms O'Connor - who once tore up a photograph of the Pope during a live TV performance, infuriating Catholics worldwide - writes that "difficult" is a term generally used by men who expect women to "behave" in certain ways. "And when we do not, these men label us with words like 'difficult', 'deranged' and 'crazy'. As if we must be crazy not to be afraid of the likes of ye. If my being difficult makes me the opposite of what you think easy is, then I am proud of the label and I want you to know something. I am way more intelligent than a bunch of chauvinists like you and your cronies could imagine a mere woman to be," she says.
Ms O'Connor says that in the music industry, managers "encourage us to sell our souls to the media to make money for them and the business of music. But they ain't yer friend when you're in the shit for what they encouraged you to do."
Addressing Louis Walsh, she suggests: "You might have a good look at your soul in some mirror and, in future, not be such an utter bitch, and instead of nastiness and cruel ignorance coming out every time your mouth opens, maybe something of some actual constructive use may be done by you in interviews. You do come across as being very stupid when you go on as you do. And it's very bad forbusiness.
"You do not advertise your services well. It's all very three-star, if I may say so. Who would want to be managed by someone who badmouths his clients when he has dumped them after what he calls their sell-by date?" she asks She concludes: "So . . . I am proud of being a 'difficult' woman, thank you. And as for wasted talent, you should take a good look in a mirror."

(c) 2003