'Sing us a song Piano Man,' reporters urge

The mysterious "Piano Man" is being hounded by reporters at his home in Germany.

The mute blond man with sad eyes had baffled psychiatrists in Britain for four months and has been confronted by scores of reporters ensconced outside his family's farmhouse in a south German village.

Or rather, he has refused to face them.

Just as he cowered and shied away from doctors at a mental hospital in England, 20-year-old Andreas Grassl has refused to set foot outside his home in the hamlet of Prosdorf since his discharge last Friday.

'Andreas was in no way engaged in a hoax'
His mother, Christa, was seen handing him a note from a British tabloid offering a huge sum for his exclusive story. The note had been shoved through the front-door letter slot.

His 46-year-old father, Josef, has been pursued around the farm by reporters intent on knowing everything there is to know about his son.

The mystery may be solved, but intriguing questions remain.

Was his mental condition all a hoax? Why did nobody in Germany recognise his picture, which was on front pages and was beamed into living rooms via television for months?

Andreas was the only student in his village class to complete high school. He was an altar boy in church and dreamt of living abroad and being a news correspondent.

His lawyers insist he was not faking when he was taken to the mental health clinic in England in a near catatonic state.

"Andreas was in no way engaged in a hoax," said his lawyer Christian Baumann.

"He did in fact suffer from amnesia and psychosis and was unable to speak as a result of severe emotional trauma. He received medication and his condition has improved."

Baumann's remarks came amid reports that Andreas could face charges of fraud and might be required to compensate Britain's National Health Service for hundreds of thousands of pounds in medical care.

Andreas was nicknamed Piano Man after reports that he entertained hospital staff with virtuoso classical recitals.

When medics gave him a pen and paper, he drew a detailed sketch of a grand piano.

His lawyer said that the reports of Andreas being a virtuoso were exaggerated, but that he does in fact play the piano. - Sapa-dpa

Agencias: Sapa-dpa
Medio: IOL
Fecha: Jueves 25 de agosto de 2005
Notas: This article was originally published on page 10 of The Star on August 25, 2005. © 2005 Independent Online. All rights strictly reserved.
ID: 1965 Editar

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