In defence of David Garrett

In defence of David Garrett


norman lebrecht

June 09, 2016

The star German violinist, who is being sued for $20m by his porn star ex-girlfriend in New York, finds an unexpected source of comfort in the gentle editorial pages of Die Welt.

The defence? Violinists are there to behave badly. Paganini showed the way. The violinist is an ‘erotic phenomenon’. Nothing is hotter than the Mendelssohn concerto. Garrett belongs to a strong tradition.

They seem to be missing the point. Sexy is not the same as bizarre.

From the case notes:  Youdan says the violinist’s “behaviour began to take a dark turn for the worse” on their first Christmas together, when [Garrett] responded to a Craiglist ad for a “sex slave,” hoping he could keep this person in a cage.

An erotic phenomenon?




  • Partisan says:

    You have to look no further than to who is the author of Garrett’s upcoming biography, to connect the dots…

    (hint, it’s the wife of the CEO of Springer media corp which also owns ‘Die Welt’)

    • Tea Sakvarelidze says:

      He is too young for someone to write the story of his life. He is not a sportsman or a dancer to retire,moreover that he recently started his career as a composer. I hope he will prove that he is not just entertainer but is an artist.Describing his life as an artist will be more important and interesting. So,that we do not have a yellow story about talented,handsome and “sexy” violinist.

  • Boris says:

    Glenn Gould was “bizarre”…. If one beats a woman and forces her to drink his urine, that makes them an abusive prick.

    Calling this poseur clown an “erotic phenomenon” and comparing him to Paganini and Mendelssohn is a stretch…they WROTE and performed their own music ….he covers Nirvana thinking he’s being artistically edgy for a violinist….4 strings a wanker do make….he comes more from a tradition of Heino and Rex Gildo…….

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Allegedly. The case has yet to be heard.

    • Peter says:

      Well, the woman suing was interested to have sexual relations with him according to her own account over more than a year after the urine incident and about half a year after the alleged physical violence event. I’m not expert in these psychologies, but I can not see a case of abusiveness if the other party volunteers, but rather a perverted win-win scenario.
      She will have to answer to the judge why she didn’t walk out of this after the urine incident and also not after the alleged rib incident, but it was actually him ending the relationship in February, and only after that she decided to sue. For 20 million $ of damages.

      • Alexander says:

        That you are not an expert psychologist is obvious. If the alleged incidents are true it would not seem to be remotely inconsistent with patterns often seen in abusive relationships that she did not leave the relationship immediately and, indeed, that she sought to sustain the relationship and is struggling to come to terms with its ending. If only it were as simple as you suggest, many fewer people would stay for so long in abusive relationships.

        • Peter says:

          Well, if two adults agree on having a sadist-masochist sexual relationship, who is to say this is abusive, if both get a benefit according to their perverted idea of sexuality out of it?
          Whatever floats their boat I would say, as long as they keep it to themselves. These are adults. She even is a porn actress, professionally engaging in sexual humiliation, for f****s sake. (pun intended)

          • Cyril Blair says:

            Alexander is exactly correct. Peter, you are ignorant; and I don’t mean that as an insult, merely that you don’t understand the difference between consensual and nonconsensual sexual relationships. You define an S&M relationship as abusive, but you are wrong – it’s a consensual relationship. If a woman is suing this man alleging abuse, by definition she does not view this as a consensual relationship, at least the portion of it that became abusive. Her being a porn actress has nothing to do with it.

          • Peter says:

            Cyril, if you call me ignorant, I will call you naive. This woman – more precisely her ‘known to be well versed in this crookery’ lawyer – is suing for 20 mio US $ in damages and not for restoring her honor or her mental health.
            Please get real.

          • Alexander says:

            This isn’t about two people who enjoy BDSM as part of their relationship. It is, allegedly, about one person abusing another. Her occupation also has nothing to do with it. That is what she chooses to do as a paid professional. If somebody works professionally as a clown it doesn’t mean that people are entitled to throw custard pies in his face.

    • amies says:

      hateful people are incredibles if they claim know music the art of l ‘ interpreter dirty david garrett is jealous pure and a lack of knowledge of the violin he intelligent for owning an ethic

  • Respect says:

    Trial by tabloid jury. Does anyone here have direct first hand knowledge that these accusations are true, or the acts of a former prostitute trying to blackmail a wealthy person? If there is a guilty verdict, his punishment should be severe, but this is not a black and withe situation. I don’t care about the art, but the rush to judgement is sad.

    On another note, I know of a very successful opera couple who store and drink their own urine, ostensibly for its health benefits. German, and it’s not the first time I heard that story.

    • Boris says:

      By stating “If” it leaves room for the benefit of doubt. He may be innocent as this is all allegations. I would say more accusations by tabloid. The statement was to clarify the level of bizarre, it seemed too light of a description. If it’s true, it’s a sad disgusting display of a talent who turned into an inhuman cartoon farce.

      Anecdotal stories of friendly singers drinking their own piss for health reasons is irrelevant. They aren’t ALLEGEDLY forcing it down their throats while punching each other repeatedly and raping each other on a kitchen counter top.

      • Peter says:

        You don’t know what happened. You only know what she says. You choose to side with her. It says all about you, nothing about them.

        It might be true or,

        She might be lying, blackmailing him into a settlement driven by revenge for his breakup, hoping he will pay generously just to avoid the publicity damage even before a trial opens.

        Or it might be all invented, and the whole thing is a guerrilla marketing effort, driven by his biographer, about to publish his biography in fall, the wife of a CEO of a major German tabloid media group, which happens to be the authority on below the belt “sex and violence sells” marketing.

        I personally would put my money on the latter scenario.

        • Respect says:

          Very interesting scenario, but rather risky, as she could see the case thrown out and leave with a reputation as a black mailer. Or he could be convicted.
          Either way, I assume she’s getting more than her traditional fee for an evenings work.

          • Peter says:

            Not risky at all. All parties are game. They will stir the tabloids until the book release. Then they will settle out of court. She gets paid for the service. He sells more books. The gullible public gets the sex-violence-money story they like. Slippedisc makes money from clickbait. Everybody wins, except decency and humanity.

  • Alexander says:

    If it is true that, for example, he broke this woman’s rib, that is not erotic, it is a criminal offence which ought to be pursued through a criminal prosecution. Having the whole matter dealt with as a civil claim seems to be wholly unsatisfactory.

    • Peter says:

      She stands not the slightest chance in a criminal court, since the timing of all of it in a she-says-he-says scenario without witnesses makes this case a no go.

  • Lynn Marie says:

    Innocent until proven guilty.

    • theschoonerexchange says:

      Law School Tip: For purposes of clarity, this is neither about guilt or innocence, nor conviction or acquittal. This is a civil matter, and the standard of proof for most civil cases in New York is the preponderance of the evidence standard (the greater weight of the evidence 51%) as opposed to guilt beyond a reasonable doubt (criminal cases). In other words, the plaintiff must establish that it is slightly more likely than not that the defendant is legally responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries in order to recover compensation from the defendant. This is a factor, among others, to consider when determining whether to settle out of court.

  • Robert Hairgrove says:

    Am I the only one who thinks this is just a sordid publicity stunt (put on by both parties, working together)?

    Is there any court in thie world who would award €20m to a former prostitute for claims of this sort?

    I am not a doctor … but it seems to me highly unlikely that one would get kidney stones from a single (?) incident of drinking urine (whether ones own or that of a different person).

    • Robert Hairgrove says:

      Oh excuse me … it’s “only” $20m, not €20m …

    • Peter says:

      You are not alone. This stunt has sex, violence and money. It’s a tad too obvious to be a clever publicity stunt, just like Springer press. Bold and disgusting.

    • theschoonerexchange says:

      The PR stunt theory would hold water, but for the fact that he markets himself a sexy, albeit celestial family entertainer. So the “wild” guy image would be inconsistent with the strategy, unlike in the case of say, Johnny Depp. And when it comes to domestic abuse, not even “wild man” Eddy Van Halen could wholly survive the damaging allegations. The theory would arguably be consistent with a new marketing strategy focusing on rock, yet even this is undercut by his advancing age, his renewed focus on classical, and with his having parted with his crossover management team to remain solely with the classical. Besides, the costs would seem to outweigh the benefits of such a strategy. This thing appears to be coming down on him and his career like acid rain.

  • Richard Gibbs says:

    I think we are all in danger of taking the piss. More to the point, the would-be Paganini’s mainstream film about the great violinist, played by Mr Garret himself, took all of 11,000 dollars at the box office and was dropped almost immediately. Rather puts Mr Garrett into perspective.

  • Alvaro says:

    Hiw Naïve can y’all be. He’s a “POP” wanna be. A failed attempt at a Justin Bieber, so he does what every star in its twilight hours does: scandal to continue the conversation.

    He never became what he was sold to, only in Germany he has pop-icon exposure. He’s not even an Andre Rieu, and the man is getting old. He’s playing more classical “gigs” now, are the charade shows of “look, I am going to make a fool of myself pretending to be a bad copy of an electric guitarist but with a violin” not selling well anymore?

    This is certainly an act to try to gain exposure, and y’all giving it to him. He’s pissing in your mouths and you’re drinking it….

    • Hilary says:

      At the outset he had something – I like the mischievous way he phrases the opening of the last movement of the Mendelssohn back in 1997. He also comes across well in some of the interviews.
      However, he seems to have gone downhill. I hate it when the percussion layer is added to this famous Nocturne by Chopin. It’s nothing short of barbaric: