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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Justin Berry; Interview With Yanni

Aired April 04, 2006 - 21:00   ET


JUSTIN BERRY: They wanted me to take off my pants, remove my underwear, and eventually masturbate on camera.


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, a prime-time exclusive, Justin Berry, he was a 13-year-old honor student who ran a pornographic Web site from his own bedroom. On Capitol Hill today he gave dramatic testimony about teenage years of molestation, drugs, and on camera sex, some of it arranged by his own father. He's here tonight to tell us some more about a shocking story.

And then later music superstar Yanni in his first interview on the domestic violence accusations by his former girlfriend that led to his arrest last month.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

An extraordinary story took place today on Capitol Hill. The House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on sexual exploitation of children heard from Justin Berry, who at age 13 was lured into the dangerous world of online porn. He was joined by Kurt Eichenwald of "The New York Times," who first told Justin's story last December. Both gentlemen join us from Washington.

Why did you come forward Justin?

BERRY: You know, Larry, that's a good question. There was a lot of kids in danger and there was a lot of adult perpetrators and predators that were able to harm these children in ways that I can't even explain here on TV and it had to be stopped, Larry.

KING: What attracted you to it? What was the first instance that brought you to this world at age 13?

BERRY: You know it's an interesting process these pedophiles and these predators. They'll take a child who is a normal kid who goes to school, has their friends, and they will manipulate their minds in ways that you can't even imagine.

For myself, the last few years has been -- has been deeply traumatic. It's been a life that I could never have imagined that I would have lived and I'm just thankful to be out of it. KING: How were you tapped into initially?

BERRY: Initially, I set up my webcam on my computer and after that there was instant message requests people wanting to speak with me on the Internet. After that, there was an individual who contacted me and asked me to take off my shirt for $50 and I agreed.

KING: How does he, the person doing this, get the money to you?

BERRY: There's an online payment system called PayPal which I used at the time. There's a variety of different online systems. That's just the one of my choice that I picked and it's sent instantly online on the Internet.

KING: And it goes into your account?

BERRY: That is correct.

KING: Why did you get a webcam?

BERRY: You know, Logitech is the main webcam company out there. At the time, EarthLink had a promotion in which they were giving out free Logitech webcams and I was the receiver of one.

KING: And your interest in it was to do what?

BERRY: My interest in this was to meet other kids online, improve my social life. A lot of today's teenagers they spend hours online talking, chatting with friends on the social networking sites, on instant messaging and I was just like the rest of them, just a teenage kid.

KING: And what did the sexual thing begin to increase from just taking off clothes to other things?

BERRY: What happened here by taking off my shirt that $50 what that did is that told the pedophiles that signaled to them that I was able to be manipulated. I was a lonely kid who was hurt and I was lost and they took note of that.

KING: How far did it get?

BERRY: How far did...

KING: Did they have you -- what kind of things -- they had you do masturbation?

BERRY: I was later masturbating. I was having sex with female prostitutes on camera. I did things that I'm pretty ashamed of, not proud of.

KING: Female prostitutes would come to your house?

BERRY: That is correct.

KING: Where was your mother or father? BERRY: At the time when that occurred I was living in Mexico. I had relocated and was living down in Mazatlan, Mexico with my father and he assisted in that.

KING: You said today that you enjoyed a lot of this.

BERRY: Enjoyed a lot of?

KING: What was going on, you enjoyed the money.

BERRY: You know to tell you the truth, Larry, now that I look back on this the money it's one thing. Money is money but the amount of pain that this has caused there's money can't replace that.

KING: When you say a lot did you make a real lot of money?

BERRY: To tell you the truth I'm not able to answer that unfortunately.

KING: Why?

BERRY: Due to my lawyer's request.

KING: OK. Kurt, how did you hook into this story?

KURT EICHENWALD, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": It was basically a fluke. There had been a posting online of what purported to be an Interpol investigation of a number of Web sites. Among them was one of Justin's Web sites called Mexico Friends.

As I was researching what these sites were I saw postings about Mexico Friends that made it clear it was a porn site involving someone named Justin. I later went to a site called which allows you to see old captured images of Web sites to look and see what these things were because this was supposedly some international fraud and I didn't quite understand what the point of it was.

And, when I called up the Mexico Friends site up popped an image that really could have come out of a seventh grade yearbook. It was a picture of Justin at the age of 14 but he actually looked more like he was about 12 and there was this disconnect, you know.

I know that this person Justin is supposed to be a porn star but I'm looking at a boy and from that point on, you know, at first I can't say that I looked at that as a reporter. I looked at that as a citizen at first. I thought I have to -- I have to find out if this is real. I have to find out if this kid exists. And, if I do, if he does, I have to call the police.

Eventually, I realized, I contacted Justin. I realized that he was 18. He was in the middle of a vast criminal conspiracy and that was when I put my reporter's hat back on.

KING: And got an extraordinary story that appeared last December. Justin, you also became a predator yourself did you not?

BERRY: Excuse me?

KING: Did you seduce other people into your web?


BERRY: No, sir, no. There was other pedophiles that were -- that were among me at the time. These people came into my everyday life. They were there with me and the things that were done by those people I'm not going to talk about here but it wasn't pretty.

KING: Is there a whole world of this Justin?

BERRY: A whole world, this is a large community on the Internet. It's enormous. It's frightening to see how large it is.

KING: So would you say that thousands of people are involved in this right now tonight?

BERRY: Tonight, truthfully I don't know the exact number. However, it's like I said this is an increasingly large business growing day by day and it needs to be stopped. That's why we're here. I'm so excited for the congressional hearings this morning and I'm amazed on the response and I just appreciate everything everyone is doing.

KING: Kurt, what do you want Congress to enact?

EICHENWALD: That's not my job. I don't know. The one thing that I do know is that when you're looking at a law enforcement problem and that's what this is, this is a law enforcement problem. This isn't -- just because the Internet is involved doesn't make it some other more complex issue.

And when you have a law enforcement problem the way you solve it is usually with prosecutions. That seems to be a very hard thing to accomplish. There aren't a lot of prosecutions coming out of the evidence that Justin provided.

KING: Justin, didn't a lot of men want to meet you, not just do this by webcam?

BERRY: You know there were several requests to meet me in person. These people are relentless. These people are -- they're your next door neighbors and you never guess that they could be talking to children like this online.

KING: Did you meet some?

BERRY: Yes, sir I did.

KING: Where was your mother?

BERRY: Where was my mother when I met them?

KING: At the house, you had prostitutes coming over. You're doing all this stuff. You're in your room. Where's your mother? BERRY: I don't know if you quite understand. When I had sex with the female prostitutes I was in Mexico at that time.

KING: Oh, your father was there right?

BERRY: Correct.

KING: Where was he?

BERRY: He was helping, assisting in securing the prostitutes.

KING: And back home, I know your mother tried to do her best about this didn't she?

BERRY: Regarding?

KING: Trying to get you help?

BERRY: No, she didn't know about this at all.

KING: Never knew about it?

BERRY: Not until I told her.

KING: What did she do then?

BERRY: I'm currently seeing a psychologist and getting help.


KING: Yes.

EICHENWALD: There was a point I think -- I think what you're referring to there was a point while she didn't know specifically what was happening with Justin, she did realize that something very bad was happening with her son that he was changing.

Now, at the time he's going from being, you know, a child to a teenager but when he was 14 he had already been molested once. At that point, he was exhibiting a lot of changed behaviors and she took him to see a mental health professional at the time and, you know, tried to get -- tried to figure out what was wrong but Justin never told anyone at that point that he was being molested.

KING: So she did her best?

EICHENWALD: She certainly did her best. You know this is not a circumstance -- I think a lot of people want this to be that there's a bad mother or there's a bad father. Well there clearly is a bad father. But, you know, you have a circumstance where if we say well there's the problem. It's the parents. Let's move on. We don't have to worry about this.

You know I have looked at many, many kids who have dealt with this. I've talked to many kids who have done this and they are from an array of families. They're from broken homes and intact families. They're from rich and poor. They're doing well in school. They're doing badly in school. There is no easy answer here. What we're dealing with is children being seduced.

KING: There's no tin type. We'll take a break, come back, include some of your phone calls. Justin Berry and Kurt Eichenwald of "The New York Times" is with us.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


BERRY: I had opened a site called where child predators could come and watch and offer me money and gifts to do what they wanted. After my first molestation, I began to act out sexually. I was reckless. Part of me wanted to die and every day on camera part of me did.



KING: Justin Berry, why was your father involved?

BERRY: When I went to Mexico my father asked me how I had so much money and his -- when I told him about the business his response to that was he would help me maximize the earning potential, so he assisted me in the Web site development and the business.

KING: How do you regard that?

BERRY: How do I -- I'm sorry I don't understand.

KING: How did you take that?

BERRY: At the time, I was excited for the help. I was a messed up kid. Now it's upsetting. It's really upsetting.

KING: Where is your dad now?

BERRY: Currently from what I understand he's not in the United States. I'm not sure of his current location. I haven't spoken with him.

KING: What do you think? Kurt Eichenwald says that's not his business. He's a reporter. What do you think should be done Justin?

BERRY: In regards...

KING: About all this legally?

BERRY: You know truthfully I'm not a lawyer nor do I wish to be but this is a big issue and there's a lot of children at risk. There's some really bad perpetrators and a lot of bad predators out there that are hunting for your children and unless something is done to stop this it's going to get worse.

KING: When you came out, so to speak, and got rid of this were you in danger? Were any people after you?

BERRY: Yes. Whenever I began speaking to Kurt and speaking to the Department of Justice there was an individual and a group of individuals that didn't like me very much as you may understand.

KING: Kurt, how widespread do you think it is?

EICHENWALD: It's huge. I mean, Larry, if he just -- we're talking now about a subset of a $20 billion industry. Child pornography generates $20 billion a year. You then have that amount of money can be used to pretty much cause anything to happen.

We have children who have cameras in their rooms. We have children who have digital cameras that can load an image instantly. We have people with cash who can pay it instantly. We have instant communication systems that allow for one individual to speak to another.

Children are being contacted by predators. They're being offered gifts. They're being offered money and these images are exploding all over the Internet.

KING: Justin, what kind of customers did you have? Can you describe the kind of people who were your customers by occupation?

BERRY: When I first began speaking with these different individuals I thought they were my friends. Later I learned when we went ahead and looked through the customer database of the different customers that I had these people are doctors. They're lawyers. They're businessmen. They're people who you would never expect to sign up for child pornography. They're people who are around your children.

KING: So, someone I passed on the street coming into CNN tonight, a businessman, insurance agent, could be doing pornography this morning or tonight?

BERRY: I sure hope not.

EICHENWALD: You know, Larry...

KING: But he could be? Yes, Kurt.

EICHENWALD: The most difficult thing for me in this story was when I took 300 of the names of Justin's customers and figured out who they were, not just their names but tracked them down to professions and locations and the rest. And, you know, I'm a father with kids and I realized that these were just like my neighbors that there's absolutely no way I would ever know who they were.

I also had the ability to match some of the customers to transcripts of online conversations they had with Justin and I would see teachers talking to this boy in the most degrading ways you could imagine. I was deeply traumatized to realize what was going on and very frightened for my children. KING: Boy! Let me get a break and come back with Justin Berry and Kurt Eichenwald of "The New York Times." We'll include a couple of phone calls.

And Yanni will join us. Don't go away.


BERRY: I abused marijuana terribly and consumed so much cocaine that I'm amazed I survived. My life was a swirl of drugs, money and sex. When a paying member of my site, Greg Mitchell, offered to come to Mexico and bring me gifts I accepted. He too sexually molested me but I no longer cared. I just wanted his money.

I had become exactly what my members viewed me to be, what their degrading conversations convinced me I was, a piece of meat for sale to the highest bidder.




BERRY: The FBI case agents I spoke with were very professional and of the highest integrity. I cannot say enough good things about them but the child exploitation and obscenity section did not make me confident.

Weeks passed seemingly without progress. I cannot describe the agony of that time. Each night I wondered were the children I knew being molested that night? Were they being filmed?

Why was no one stopping this? I understood it would take time to decide whether I should have immunity or not but why couldn't they rescue the children in danger?


KING: Justin, before we take a few calls, how are you now psychologically? How's life for you?

BERRY: Well right now I'm seeing a psychiatrist and life has improved so much over the past few months. It's been a rough few months and it's finally coming to an end here hopefully and life is improving. I'm going to school and I have a wonderful girlfriend.

KING: Has this been cleansing for you?

BERRY: Cleansing?

KING: To come forward?

BERRY: You know it's been very difficult. It really has. Over the past few months I've shed a lot of tears. It's been pretty rough. I've had some pretty bad days. And, you know, fighting this and trying to do anything I can to stop this child pornography that's why I'm here.

KING: Let's take a call, Minneapolis, hello.

CALLER FROM MINNEAPOLIS: Yes, Larry, I'm a clinical psychologist who's been in practice 20 years and I have evaluated over 2,000 children that have been sexually abused and in every case with no exception the child who was taken advantage of through pornography or abuse had a parent who was sexually abused and has not dealt with it. You asked Justin why his father got involved. I'm wondering, Justin, was your father or your mother a sexual abuse victim to your knowledge?

BERRY: Yes, that's a very good question. I know my mom isn't. My father I don't believe so.

KING: But you don't actually know?

BERRY: No, I do not.

KING: The Villages, Florida, hello.

CALLER FROM THE VILLAGES, FLORIDA: Hello, Justin. I must say you're a very brave young man. I saw you testify. I wanted to know you said you're going to college right now. You're in your first year. What is it you're aiming for with this education?

BERRY: Right now I'm going to school and making new friends. As you know, I have been living this lifestyle for quite some number of years now and I had to disconnect from everyone I knew and my old lifestyle. I had to start over with my friends. So, right now I'm making some new friends, going to school, and trying to relax a little bit.

KING: What's your major?

BERRY: I am studying interactive media, computer Web site development.

KING: You're kidding?


KING: That's kind of funny in a sense, computer Web site development.

BERRY: That is correct. You know computers are a great resource and a great tool. You just have to know how to use them properly and make sure you know who's on the other side of the screen.

KING: Is your girlfriend OK with all this?

BERRY: You know that's a good question. She's been very supportive and she's been great.

KING: St. Bernard, Louisiana, hello.

CALLER FROM ST. BERNARD, LOUISIANA: Hi, Larry, thanks for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Let me just start out by saying I think pedophilia and child pornography is the worst crime ever. But my question to Justin is why can't he say how much money he's made and, you know, let the IRS -- that could be one way of stopping this. If the people that's making the money get penalized for this, it will stop. It will put a halt to some of it. But, you know, why did he just come out just now? Why did he wait until he was 18 or 19 to come out?

KING: Justin.

EICHENWALD: I think that's something I'm going to have to answer.

KING: All right, Kurt.

EICHENWALD: It's a very simple reason why he can't answer it because his lawyer is sitting here and says don't answer that. Justin has federal immunity but you never know what knucklehead might be out there and say "Well look what he said on Larry King. Let's go after him."

I can tell you that in my story I reported that Justin had made hundreds of thousands of dollars over those five years. Children who are willing to appear on camera are very valuable commodities and he was paid for that.

He blew the money like a child can. The money is all gone and a lot of it went up his nose. A lot of it was just thrown away on garbage. But the reason he can't answer that question is because he's been ordered not to.

KING: Justin, are you totally free of drugs?

BERRY: Yes, thank God.

KING: Was that hard to get through?

BERRY: You know, to tell you the truth that was one of -- one of the more difficult things. Withdrawal from marijuana I don't know if anyone watching this show has ever tried to quit cold turkey cocaine and marijuana. It's some rough stuff.

KING: Port Richey, Florida, hello.

CALLER FROM PORT RICHEY, FLORIDA: Yes, hi, good evening Larry. I just want to say Justin I think you're very brave for what you're doing and, along with Kurt, you did a great job.

My question to Justin is would you like to see your father, if the authorities are probably looking for him, prosecuted and arrested?

BERRY: You know really that's a very, very touchy subject for me and a difficult question to answer. If someone has committed a crime, they should be prosecuted.

KING: Justin, I thank you very much for coming here tonight on short notice. I think you've done a valuable service and we really appreciate it.

BERRY: Thank you.

KING: And, Kurt thanks for some great reporting.

EICHENWALD: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Kurt Eichenwald of "The New York Times" and Justin Berry.

And when we come back on LARRY KING LIVE, the worldwide famous entertainer who's had some problems that maybe we can clear up tonight, Yanni will join us right after these words. Don't go away.


BERRY: Today, I have been off drugs for nine months and just finished my first quarter at college. My grades are good and I have friends. Had I not met Kurt Eichenwald I would never have this chance at a new life. I will never be able to repay what he has done for me. In a profession which is taught to get the story he did that but he treated me with compassion of a Good Samaritan. I have my life back.

But everyday I have regrets, not just for the dreadful decisions I made in the past years but for failing to have the impact that I had hoped on this illegal trade. I have never been asked by law enforcement about any of the 1,500 names I provided them.



KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. The internationally acclaimed composer and keyboard player Yanni has been making music for more than a decade. Last week, he made headlines when his girlfriend called 911 with claims of domestic violence. Yanni joins me here in the studio to talk about it for the first time. But first, let's listen to the audio tape of that phone call to the authorities.


DISPATCHER: What's the problem there, ma'am?


DISPATCHER: You have a case of domestic violence, the person's locked in the room.

BARTHES: (inaudible)

DISPATCHER: Your husband or your boyfriend?

BARTHES: He's my boyfriend. DISPATCHER: Does he have any weapons?

BARTHES: Yes, he has.

DISPATCHER: How many weapons does he have?

BARTHES: (inaudible) You do have -- he's not who you think is (inaudible) weapon. He just beat me.

DISPATCHER: I got it, thanks. OK, and you're inside the house?


DISPATCHER: Is he still inside the house?

BARTHES: Yes (inaudible).

DISPATCHER: All right, what is your -- all right, just stay in the room locked and we'll send an officer over to meet with you, OK?

BARTHES: OK, can you send the police?

DISPATCHER: All right, bye bye.


KING: The girlfriend was Silvia Barthes. We invited her to appear, the woman who accused Yanni of domestic battery. The invitation was declined. There is a statement from her attorney which says, "A civil lawsuit will be filed this week against John Y. Christopher, AKA Yanni, by Silvia Barthes relating to a recent incident which resulted in the arrest of Yanni and other matters. Ms. Barthes attempted to resolve these issues with Yanni privately and without resort to litigation and the media. However, based on Yanni's public discussion of the matters, this is no longer possible."

There was a criminal charge that was dismissed, is that right?


KING: What happened?

YANNI: Well, very painful, very painful time. It's been 30 days I've been sequestered in my house. I sat there and I watched everybody talk and tell their side of the story and I haven't been able to talk. And I appreciate you having me on to speak.

KING: My pleasure.

YANNI: It was a case where if I want to jump to the most dramatic aspect of what happened, I wanted to end my relationship with Ms. Barthes.

KING: Had you been seeing her some time?

YANNI: Yes, I met her about a year and a half ago. But the relationship was casual at the very beginning because I was touring, I was beginning my tour, I was rehearsing. I went on tour about six months.

So it was difficult to even start a relationship with anyone. But I liked her. She had a lot of life, she liked to have a lot of fun, go out, it was a good energy. And so we became close and we talked on the phone quite a lot. That particular night, though, I think what happened is she just lost it for a few seconds.

KING: You didn't harm her at all?

YANNI: No, absolutely not. She just lost it for a few seconds, that's all it was, and came flailing at me. And I just put my arms up to protect my face. I just was able to grasp her arms at some point. But at that point, she became very aggressive.

KING: Where was this?

YANNI: That was at my house.

KING: In Florida?

YANNI: In Florida, yes.

KING: Were you in some kind of hostile discussion?

YANNI: It wasn't a discussion. It was a discussion where I was just telling her, "I think will be the end, I think. She would have to go home, that I would like to end our relationship."

KING: And she didn't want that to happen?

YANNI: No, she wasn't very happy about it.

KING: Were you shocked thought that she would call 911?

YANNI: Yes, that really shocked me. I didn't expect it. I was standing at the door. It's a guest bedroom, and she was laying on the bed with her legs crossed, propped up against the pillows on the bed and she just looked at me and said, "I'm just going to tell them you beat me up." You're going to tell them what? I couldn't believe it. I was just completely stunned. And then she proceeded to call 911.

KING: You were there when she called?

YANNI: Yes, I was standing right there, absolutely, I was watching her do it. And then about halfway through the 911 call, when she starts saying he beat me up, I just realized something's wrong here.

So I just went downstairs and I called my assistant, who was at the house. I had asked him to stay that night until Ms. Barthes left the house. I said, call the police, there's something going on here, I don't understand.

KING: Didn't the police come to the house? YANNI: Yes, they came within a minute or two because the police station is maybe four blocks away.

KING: And did they take notations from you and her?

YANNI: Yes, mostly they talked to her.

KING: Did she file a criminal charge?

YANNI: She pressed charges, I don't know what the actual term is.

KING: And what happened to those charges?

YANNI: They were dismissed.

KING: By the court?

YANNI: Not by court, it was by the state attorney's office.

KING: They didn't think they had enough to go on?

YANNI: They never brought charges against me.

KING: We just saw a picture taken by police. Was there any physical damage to her body?

YANNI: There was. There was -- I never hit her, I never slapped her. I never saw it happen. That was the whole thing. I never understood what happened.

It was a very quick thing. She came flailing at me, I just, I was able at some point to grasp her arms. And at that point, she got very violent, she started kicking and swinging wildly, and I couldn't hold on to her, so I just let go and walked away from the room, for a little while.

KING: Do you think she might have got hurt during that grabbing?

YANNI: It's possible, but I never saw it happening. That's the interesting thing, I never knew how it happened.

KING: How do you feel about the fact that her attorney tells us that a civil lawsuit will be filed this week?

YANNI: I don't like that, but it's not -- I mean, I was expecting that. I will defend my innocence very vigorously.

KING: Have you seen her since this incident?

YANNI: No, I have not, nor have I heard from her.

KING: Have you ever had anything like this with any prior girlfriend?

YANNI: Never, not even close. KING: For a long time, you were with Linda Evans, right?

YANNI: Yes, I was.

KING: Are you still friendly with her?

YANNI: Yes, oh yes.

KING: Did she call you after this?

YANNI: Not personally, but she called my family and she offered her support. But I didn't want to bring her into this.

KING: What's it done to you?

YANNI: This has been one of the most painful periods of my life. I've been sequestered at the house for 30 days, unable to go out, unable to say anything, unable to talk.

KING: While there were criminal charges pending?

YANNI: Yes, until the state attorney's office made their decision. The interesting thing is that about a few days after this incident, I got a letter from her lawyers hand-delivered to my home, even though they knew I had a lawyer and they knew who my lawyer was, asking for money and settlement without litigation. And that was two weeks before the state attorney's office had made up their mind or made their decision.

KING: Are you saying they're trying to extort you?


KING: Because she says they tried to settle it amicably?

YANNI: No, that was not a letter of settling. This was a letter -- I think that was extortion.

KING: Well according to you, since there was no violence and you weren't -- there's no promissory here, what was there to settle, right?

YANNI: Exactly.

KING: You had a relationship, you broke up?

YANNI: Exactly, I just wanted to do that.

KING: Happens everyday.

YANNI: I wanted it to be peaceful ending, too.

KING: Because no one has a more peaceful image than you. Your music is peaceful. You've got to have a peaceful look. People don't expect this of Yanni. YANNI: Thanks you, that's good, and Yanni doesn't do that. Yanni does not hit and I do not slap and I do not hit people and break their lips and all that stuff.

KING: We'll take a break and we'll be back with Yanni on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: By the way, the state's attorney in Palm Beach County said the alleged incident took place behind closed doors without any independent witnesses or evidence to support the charge. It became he said, she said.

How's your health? There was a tabloid story claiming you lost a dramatic amount of weight and were very sick.

YANNI: That was earlier, a few months before this they were saying I had throat cancer, I was dying, completely untrue.

KING: Your health is good?


KING: Do you think this has hurt you with fans?

YANNI: I hope not. I've gotten so much outpouring of support and sympathy. I know most of the fans don't believe it and didn't believe it even though the only story that was out there was hers for the past month.

KING: Before you told her of a break-up, you had had dinner that night.


KING: Did you know she was emotional, high strung?

YANNI: Yes, she was emotional, an emotional person.

KING: Did you have any apprehension?

YANNI: Yes, did have apprehension. I wasn't planning to tell her that night. We just went to dinner. This had been going on a couple months, our relationship was not doing very well, we both knew it. Sometimes when things are not working in a relationship, you find things to argue about that are not related. Maybe about dishes or the car or all this other stuff but, really the truth of the matter is that the relationship is not working.

KING: Was there ever a time you thought this could be a lasting relationship?

YANNI: That's a really good question. It crossed my mind, yes. Whenever you enter a relationship, you hope. Yes.

KING: You liked her?

YANNI: Yes, I liked her.

KING: Did she travel with you?

YANNI: Sometimes, not a whole lot. When I do the U.S. tour, sometimes I'm in three cities in one day. I brought her out once in a while, she stayed a couple days, went home. I took her with me to Greece for a vacation, went to the South of France for a few days.

KING: In the midst of all this, what have you got musically coming up?

YANNI: I've been working on this project for a year, post- production wise. It's high definition and about 120 channels of digital audio, It's Yanni live.

KING: A touring thing?

YANNI: A live concert that will come out next fall.

KING: Are you going to tour?

YANNI: Yes. Afterwards.

KING: You say it's a live concert. Is this a visual?

YANNI: Yes. We'll be releasing a DVD and CD, it's a live performance which happened during the last U.S. tour that I did.

KING: Do you do another tour to back it up?

YANNI: Probably. That's what we do. We tour

KING: How many people tour with you?

YANNI: About 120. We probably hire about another 100 or 200 in each city when we go.

KING: All the music is written by you?

YANNI: Most all of it.

KING: Is music constantly revolving around in your head?

YANNI: Yes. That is something that I've been doing since I was a kid, it's a natural thing, it's my solace. It's a way for me to -- it's -- helps me exist.

KING: What all this adds up to is, you feel, a false accusation, dropped by the district attorney, you know a civil suit is coming, which you're going to fight. You're not going to settle it.

YANNI: Absolutely not. That's one thing I want to make sure is I never paid anyone and I never will pay anyone based on these allegations. KING: Where is she now?

YANNI: I have no idea.

KING: You've not heard from her since this?


KING: We'll be right back with Yanni and we will include your phone calls when we come back.

At the top of the hour, normally it's Anderson Cooper, "AC 360," but tonight Heidi Collins and John Roberts are filling in. They'll be with us all week. It's always nice to see that lovely face.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you very much, Larry. We are going to be talking some more about Justin Berry. I know that you spoke with him earlier tonight on your program as well. The story is dominating the headlines tonight so we will be covering that.

Also a stunning companion to it now, breaking news out of Florida, Maryland and Washington D.C., authorities telling us they have arrested a top official at the Department of Homeland Security on charges he tried to seduce a minor on-line. This is coming together as we speak now.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve is on it, she is working the story, there is a press conference getting under way right now in Florida, we are going to bring all of it to you. The very latest at the top of our program. Larry, we will see you then.

KING: Thanks, Heidi. Stranger and stranger. Heidi Collins and John Roberts will co-host "AC 360" at the top of the hour. We'll be back with your calls for Yanni right after this.


KING: Popular all over the world and the moustache is no longer black.

YANNI: That's a nice thing, OK.

KING: It's great. Carbondale, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Yanni, this is Carbondale, I am a member of your fan club on the message board. My question is, has this incident affected your creativity to create the beautiful music that you do for us, and we hope you're still composing?

YANNI: I'm sure this will move me into writing music.

KING: It will or won't?

YANNI: At some point it will, any time you get emotional, this is a huge lesson for me, this has been a very difficult time for me.

KING: In the last 30 days, I don't imagine you've written anything?

YANNI: No, no, I misunderstood the question. In the future, I will probably be affected by this and it will affect the music.

KING: To Summerfield, Florida. Hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry.

KING: Go ahead. Turn your TV down. Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes. Good evening, I was anxious to know from Yanni, given the fact- -

KING: Turn your TV down.

CALLER: OK. Is it down?

KING: Yes.

CALLER: I was anxious to know from Yanni, since he had a period of a relationship with this woman, what seemed to prompt his decision that day to inform her there was no longer going to be a relationship?

YANNI: That's a good question. I knew the last couple of months, we both knew, the relationship was not doing very well and it just came to head that night.

KING: Did you plan it?

YANNI: Absolutely not

KING: When you went out to dinner, you didn't say this is the night?

YANNI: No. I didn't plan it.

KING: You told her at home?

YANNI: I told her in the car on the way home.

KING: She freaked-out in the car?

YANNI: No. She took it fairly well. She made a phone call and spoke in Spanish so I didn't understand what she was talking about and it was pretty calm all the way until we got home.

KING: You didn't expect this?

YANNI: No. Bellflower, California. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Thank you, Yanni for going public with this. I'm a long time fan. My question to you is how do you plan to put your life back together after this, you're such a private person, to go forward and recover from this?

YANNI: Well, right now, everything is all fresh, I'm shell- shocked still. I didn't expect this. We were talking a little earlier, I've been trying to calm down, get away from the public eye and have a little bit of life and recharge. This is going to be difficult but I'm not going to let this change the way I look at human beings and the way I tend to trust human beings and give them the benefit of the doubt, I won't let this change me.

KING: Just to clear the record, you didn't hit or slap Silvia?

YANNI: Absolutely not.

KING: Didn't throw her down on the bed or jump on top of her? No grabbing physically or restraining her?

YANNI: Absolutely not. She was free to do what she wanted to do.

KING: According to the police report, you said Sylvia had kicked you?

YANNI: Yes, she did a few times.

KING: Your left middle finger was hurting.

YANNI: I think when I put my hand up to protect myself at some time she probably hit it, but I can't say when.

KING: After the police came and things settled down she left the house?

YANNI: Yes, she did and drove home by herself.

KING: She didn't live with you?

YANNI: No. She didn't live with me. She Stayed in the house once in a while but didn't live with me.

KING: She lived in Florida?

YANNI: In Miami. She has an apartment in Miami Beech.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Yanni on this edition of "LARRY KING LIVE." Don't go away.


KING: Back with Yanni, we remind you again we did invite Sylvia, the woman who accused Yanni of domestic battery, to be a guest on this show and she declined the invitation was declined. Victoria, British Columbia. Hello

CALLER: I'd like to say I'm an avid member of your Web site message board, on behalf of the members we want to tell you we love you very much and have been very supportive of you ever since we heard of these allegation.

Larry, thank you very much for giving Yanni the opportunity to set the record straight. How do you feel about not having the chance to tell your side of the story? It seems as if she was able to speak more than you were.

YANNI: That's always very difficult. The last 30 days it's been difficult. I haven't been able to talk until the state attorney's office completed their investigation. A friend of mine said it's like being at the principal's office and everybody's pointing their finger at you and you can't talk.

KING: Did the police ask you for a statement?

YANNI: Yes, they did. They asked me what happened, I told them, I said I never hit her. Didn't make any difference.

KING: They just did their job? Grand Rapids, Michigan.

CALLER: Yanni, my wife and I would like to tell you we support you 100 percent and we're very thrilled to know your allegations have been cleared. Do you know when you're coming to Grand Rapids?

YANNI: The earliest I would go on another U.S. tour would be at the end of this year, maybe beginning of next year so I know I'll make it to Grand Rapids for sure.

KING: Being technically inept, what is a message board?

YANNI: First of all, you're not technically inept. A message board is when people get on an Internet and they talk to each other.

KING: You have a message board and people can send you messages?

YANNI: Yes and they talk to each other.

KING: Like a fan club but they all communicate. Can you tune in and see what they're saying?

YANNI: Sure I could. Sometimes I do but don't want to tell them when.

KING: Do you have any hostile ones?

YANNI: I'm sure but I don't know. Maybe I am shielded from them. Maybe people erase them, I don't know.

KING: Thanks for coming. Good luck. Yanni, tonight on LARRY KING LIVE. By the way, Thursday night we will do a major principal on polygamy. You will want to tune in for that. Right now, the dynamic duo with us again.

Anderson Cooper is off this week and there they are, Heidi Collins and John Roberts, two of the best in the business. I was going to say joined at the hip but they are parted. They're ready to host "AC 360." Go, guys.