Yoko Ono's driver to try again for bail

After three unsuccessful tries for bail, Yoko Ono's former driver hopes a fourth attempt will get him out of jail.

Koral Karsan's latest bail request, set for a hearing Thursday, came as the former chauffeur elaborated on his argument that he was wronged by Ono, and not, as claimed by former Beatle John Lennon's widow, that he was blackmailing her.

In a letter filed with his bail request earlier this week, Karsan says he asked Ono for$2 million (Ђ1.54 million) as compensation for years of sexual harassment and abuse, not blackmail money.

Karsan, 50, was charged with attempted grand larceny last month, after Ono complained to authorities. He has pleaded not guilty.

An attorney for Karsan filed papers on Tuesday to seek bail for the fourth time. They included a letter Karsan had written to Ono in December.

Prosecutors had said the letter proved he had threatened to humiliate Ono unless she gave him the money.

In the letter, Karsan portrays himself as an abused employee seeking justice. He says Ono's demands on him had destroyed his family and that he had decided to pursue a sexual harassment lawsuit against her. But he then demands that Ono give him $2 million (Ђ1.54 million) or risk having him release embarrassing information.

He writes that the material includes "political statements against the British and U.S. governments" and "numerous critical comments about your son, daughter, the Beatles" and such Ono friends as Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Karsan also writes that he has recordings of Ono's son, Sean Lennon, disparaging his famous father.

Assistant District Attorney Anne Schwartz has objected to bail for Karsan, saying he will likely flee to his native Turkey if freed. Schwartz has also said that the case against Karsan includes not only the letter to Ono, but threats at other times to have her killed, reports AP.

An attorney for Karsan, Robert Gottlieb, has said that Ono accused Karsan to head off the sexual harassment claim and that Ono pressured her driver to commit "immoral and illegal acts."

Ono spokesman Elliot Mintz has said any intimation of a sexual liaison between Ono and Karsan was a smokescreen for a "clear, obvious, transparent shakedown."

Police have said Karsan presented his extortion pitch to Ono on Dec. 8, 26 years to the day after Lennon was fatally shot in front of the Dakota, the Manhattan apartment building where they lived and she still lives.

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