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Yanni Arrested for Alleged Musical Abuse-Apartments Mar 7, 2006 - 8:32
MANALAPAN, Fla. - The musician Yanni was arrested at his home Friday after allegedly subjecting a woman to musical abuse, authorities said. Mr. Yanni, whose legal name is John Yanni Christopher, faces a domestic-battery-by-music charge, according to a police report. The Greek-born singer-pianist, 51, denied the allegation.
According to Mr. Yanni's companion Silvia Barthes, 33, Mr. Yanni woke up Friday morning and began playing one of his albums. Apart from the "rather loud volume for that time of day," Ms. Barthes said she did not find anything unusual in Mr. Yanni's actions.
"He always listens to his own music when he wants to make love to me," she told police. "Otherwise he has difficulty performing. So I just thought he was giving me a wake-up call."
On Friday, however, Mr. Yanni was not in the mood for love, unless he had self-love in mind. By noon he had listened to Niki Nana (1989), Reflections of Passion (1990), Out of Silence (1990), Optimystique (1990), Keys to Imagination (1990), Chameleon Days (1990), and In Celebration of Life (1991). Ms. Barthes told police she had begun to fear that Mr. Yanni intended to listen to his entire thirty-album oeuvre in sequence.
"I tried to tune the music out," said Ms. Barthes, "but Yanni has speakers in every room of the house, and he controls them from a master panel in a locked closet. I went out to the pool for a swim, but he turned on the outside speakers. I was on the verge of a panic attack. There's only so much Yanni a person can take."
By late Friday afternoon Mr. Yanni had changed into his performance clothes and had worked his way up to Yanni-Greatest Hits (1997). At that point Ms. Barthes finally asked him "to please give it a rest."
After a protracted argument, Mr. Yanni turned up the volume, Ms. Barthes claimed. When she attempted to leave the beach- front house, Mr. Yanni seized her by the arm and forced her into a spare bedroom. There he shook her, threw her on the bed, and jumped on top of her, according to the police report.
While Tribute (1997) played loudly, Mr. Yanni sat astride Ms. Barthes, waving his arms manically as though he were conducting an orchestra. When he went to the guest bathroom during "intermission," Ms. Barthes summoned police on her cell phone.
When the police arrived, just as In the Mirror (1997) was beginning, Mr. Yanni claimed that Barthes had kicked him and, he believed, had injured his "conducting" finger during the incident.
Reporters who called a telephone listing for a John Christopher in Manalapan over the weekend heard a recorded message saying no one was available at the time. A selection from Nightbird (2002) played in the background.
Update: Although charges against Yanni were dropped eventually, the incident still angers many people--not because of anything Yanni did in his beds or in the recording studio, but because he owns a $7.7 million oceanfront home, instead in apartments.