Juan Carlos: Court throws out ex-lover’s €145m legal case

Juan Carlos
Former Spanish King Juan Carlos (Image: AP)

A London court has thrown out a 145m euros (£126m) legal case brought by a former lover of the ex-king of Spain.

Danish businesswoman Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn had accused Juan Carlos of directing a campaign of harassment against her after their relationship broke down in 2012.

She alleged the intimidation – including spying and break ins – began after she refused to return millions of pounds worth of gifts from him.

Juan Carlos denied the allegations.

On Friday a judge ruled that the High Court of England and Wales had no jurisdiction in the case, but made no judgement on the substance of the allegations.

In addition, Judge Rowena Collins Rice said that Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn – a British citizen – had not “sufficiently established that the ‘harmful event’ of which she complains, harassment by the defendant, happened in England”.

A spokesperson for the 85-year-old former monarch described Friday’s ruling as “unsurprisingly” confirming his innocence and said it re-established the “conditions necessary for further public appearances”.

Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, who filed the harassment case in 2020, said she was “deeply disappointed” by the decision and that it was “disheartening to see that victims of harassment often struggle to find justice in our legal system”.

Prior to the decision, UK judges ruled last December that she could not sue the former monarch over allegations relating to time he served as king as he had immunity as sovereign.

Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn claimed that he pressured her to return gifts worth 65m euros after their relationship broke down, following the couple’s notorious elephant-hunting trip to Botswana in 2012. The trip – in which Juan Carlos was injured and had to be flown home – sparked public anger amid a financial crisis and record unemployment figures in Spain.

Juan Carlos was credited with overseeing Spain’s transition from dictatorship to democracy in 1975. But he abdicated the throne in 2014 following a series of scandals involving his family, including a corruption investigation involving his daughter’s husband, Inaki Urdangarin, who was later jailed.

The former king has lived largely in exile in the United Arab Emirates since 2020, after leaving Spain over allegations of fraud which were eventually dropped. A Swiss investigation into a multi-million dollar payment from Saudi Arabia was closed because of insufficient evidence.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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