Yoko Ono's chauffeur has been arrested, accused of blackmailing and threatening the widow of former Beatle John Lennon.

Koral Karsan, 50, from New York, had been ONO's driver for six years, driving her on an almost daily basis when she was in the city.

However, the kooky artist and campaigner reported Mr Karsan to police after he allegedly said he would release sounds tapes and photos of her, unless she paid him $2 million (£1.02 million).

The chauffeur allegedly made the blackmail attempt on the 26th anniversary of JOHN LENNON's death, with investigators claiming they have a recording of Mr Karsan talking about killing YOKO ONO and her son Sean Lennon.

"She is one woman who has been through enough," said ONO's spokesperson Eliot Mintz.

"For an employee - especially a trusted employee who drove her - to attempt a shakedown has left her just absolutely shocked."

He added that "this one's really cold" as it was alleged to have happened around the time of the anniversary of LENNON's death, "when she is in a particularly vulnerable position".

JOHN LENNON was shot dead outside the Dakota building in New York in 1980 by Mark Chapman.

14/12/2006 15:20:43