A legal battle has erupted after 54-year-old man, named Nikos Kouris, claimed last month that he is the late composer Mikis Theodorakis‘s illegitimate son.
The beloved composer who died in early September, appears to have had a close relationship with Kouris, even knowing that Kouris had started using the name Nikos Theodorakis in recent years.
This fact was certainly not unknown to the Theodorakis family, as Mikis had met Kouris many times in the past.
The family had also met the man a number of times, mainly due to the creation of the internet radio station known as Mikis’s Radio, which was created exclusively to promote the work of Mikis Theodorakis.
There are even some photos of Mikis’s daughter, Margarita with Kouris, in a meeting the two had about her father’s music. The composer had given his permission for this and there had been a number of telephone contacts and correspondence.
Temporary restraining order
And yet, both of Theodorakis’s children have asked the Greek courts for a temporary restraining order, so that Kouris can’t use the Theodorakis surname.
The Athens Court of First Instance on Thursday banned Kouris, 54, from using the surname of Mikis Theodorakis, but the case will be heard on November 30.
Nikos Kouris claims he was the product of an affair between the great composer and a former maid, Alexandra Samoili. He told the court that he has no inheritance claims, but added that he is willing to undergo a DNA test to prove his relations with the Theodorakis family.
Kouris’ claims appear to be corroborated by a number of security reports from 1968. The Greek military junta security officers at the time had reported witnessing the birth of an out of wedlock child, which Theodorakis has been “desperate to hide” from his family.
Theodorakis’s daughter Margarita has been telling Greek media that Kouris is an impostor who has nothing to do with her family and that he’s only using the Theodorakis surname for inheritance reasons.
Mikis’s son George Theodorakis has called Kouris’ claims “the fraud of the century”. “Kouris has no relation to our family or our extended family,” he said, calling on Greek media to refrain from interviewing him.
Theodorakis’s niece says the family knew
But both siblings’ claims have been countered by the late composer’s niece, Anna Theodorakis, who says the entire family was aware of the fact that Kouris was her uncle’s son.
“I knew from an early age about Nikos Kouris-Theodorakis. I saw a picture of him at my father Giannis’s house,” she says. “My father told me that Nikos was the son of Mikis and he was a cousin”. Her father, Giannis, was Mikis’s brother.
“I knew this when I was 12, but I realized we shouldn’t talk about it,” Anna says. “After all, the resemblance with my uncle is uncanny. I don’t know if Margarita and George knew about Nikos’s existence.”
“I wanted to ask the family to allow for a DNA test to end the whole affair,” she said on a TV interview. “I accept him as my cousin. I think he’s Mikis’ son.”