Former King Asks UK Court to Dismiss Claim

Former King Juan Carlos wants to return to Spain with a salary

Image by א (Aleph),, CC BY-SA 2.5 , via Wikimedia Commons

THE former King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, has made a plea to a UK judge to dismiss a claim for damages by his former lover for 145 million euros (126 million pounds).

Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, the Danish entrepreneur who also resides in the UK, sued the former King of Spain in a bitter, long-running legal battle for alleged harassment. She is seeking this sum for personal injury, alleging that the former King inflicted “great mental pain” upon her when he ordered Spain’s National Intelligence Agency to follow and threaten her after the affair was terminated.

According to Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, during her five-year affair with the king, she and her children were threatened by the head of the National Intelligence Agency and his colleagues, she stated that a copy of a book about how Princess Diana was killed by British Intelligence Services was left in her Swiss villa as a warning of what would await her. She also claimed that shots were fired at her CCTV system and that her phone had been tapped.

She said the threats began back in 2012, two years before Juan Carlos I abdicated from the throne after a series of scandals including his affair with her, resulting in his son taking over the throne. Sayn-Wittgenstein claims in court filings that Juan Carlos has demonstrated “an alleged abuse of power wholly inconsistent with (his) important role in the transition of Spain to a successful parliamentary democracy”.

At a high court hearing on Tuesday, July 18, Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn stated that she was seeking more than 145 million euros in damages. The former King denies the charges and his barrister, Adam Wolanski KC, stated that the case had  “no realistic” prospect of success and that the evidence presented “simply does not disclose a viable case”. Furthermore, the barrister stated in court that “the pleaded case of harassment is a diffuse collection of complaints, some trivial, mostly historic.” The barrister reiterated that Juan Carlos “emphatically denies ever having harassed the claimant”.

Previous cases filed by Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn have been unsuccessful, in December, Juan Carlos won an appeal because “the pre-abdication conduct alleged” was “immune from the jurisdiction of the courts of this country”.

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Written by

Lisa Zeffertt

Lisa is British, born in Hong Kong and has lived in many countries including the UK, Hong Kong, Cyprus, and Thailand, Spain has been her home for the past 10 years. After graduating with a BA in English Literature and Art History, she has worked in different sectors, most recently as a ghostwriter and translator for six years Writing is one of her passions, as well as working in both Spanish (fluent) and English.