Driver claims payment is not blackmail money
Yoko Ono’s jailed driver Koral Karsan made his fourth attempt to get bail yesterday (January 9).
Karsan claimed that the $2 million he requested from Onowas not blackmail money, but payment for years of sexual harassment and abuse.
To support the claim, his lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, filed a letter which purportedly proved he had threatened to humiliate Ono unless she gave him the money.
In the letter, dated December 2006, Karsan portrays himself as an abused employee seeking justice. He tells Ono that he had decided to pursue a sexual harassment lawsuit against her. He then demands Ono gives him $2 million or risk having him release material that “quite frankly will astound the world”.
The information includes statements about The Beatles, the US and UK governments and recordings of son Sean Lennon.
In the letter, Karsan threatens: “Depending on the outcome of our dealings, I will not only write about these recordings but will also distribute them to European broadcasting stations throughout the future.”
Gottlieb said that Ono had accused Karsan grand larceny to head off his sexual harassment claim. The lawyer explained that the letter showed only that Karsan was willing to forego filing a sexual harassment lawsuit in exchange for compensation.
Assistant District Attorney Anne Schwartz, however, objected to his release on bail. She said the case against him is strong, and could land him in jail for 15 years if convicted.
Gottlieb claims that Ono pressured Karsan to commit“immoral and illegal acts”. However, Ono spokesman Elliot Mintz said that his was an “obfuscation” of “a clear, obvious, transparent shakedown”.
As previously reported, Karsan was arrested on December 13 on a charge of attempted grand larceny after Ono complained to authorities.
The bail application is to argued tomorrow (January 11) before the Supreme Court Justice Daniel FitzGerald in New York, reports Yahoo.