MANALAPAN, Fla. – The pianist Yanni was arrested at his Manalapan home after a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, authorities said.
Yanni, whose legal name is John Yanni Christopher, was arrested early Friday and faces a domestic battery charge, according to a police report.
The Greek-born musician had asked his girlfriend Silvia Barthes, 33, to leave his beachfront home after they returned from dinner, the report said.
Barthes told police the 51-year-old singer was verbally abusive during a car ride home. She told police that when they returned to the house she attempted to take her clothing off hangers and put it in a bag to leave. Yanni forcefully took her clothing off the hangers and threw them on the ground, according to a police report.
Barthes told officers he then grabbed her by her forearms and shook her, throwing her on the bed, and jumped on top of her. Barthes had a bloody lip and told officers that she thought she might have hit herself when Yanni shook her arms, according to the report.
Yanni told police that Barthes had kicked him and that he believed he had injured his middle finger during the incident, the report said.
"I want everyone to know that I am completely innocent of any allegations made with respect to the events at my home on the night of March 2. These allegations are cruel, false, without merit and baseless," Yanni said in a statement released Monday to the Associated Press by his personal manager Danny O'Donovan. "At a more appropriate time and place, I hope and pray I will have an opportunity to address my fans and colleagues all over the world."
No one answered a call to a listing for a John Christopher in Manalapan late Monday.
In comments to The Palm Beach Post and South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Yanni's lawyer Orlando Gonzalez denied the musician ever hit or harmed Barthes and accused her of manufacturing the story to hurt the singer's reputation.
"He absolutely is not guilty and did not strike that woman," Gonzalez told the Palm Beach Post, adding that "the last thing this man would want to do is hurt his hands."
Gonzalez told the paper that staff at the home had witnessed the night's events and that they could dispute Barthes' account.