In a significant legal fallout, a substantial claim of €145m lodged by Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, a Danish businesswoman and former lover of Juan Carlos, the now exalted king of Spain, has met with dismissal by a tenacious London court.
Lady zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn levelled damning accusations against Carlos, suggesting he mounted an intense campaign of hostility and intimidation post their relationship’s disintegration in 2012. Her allegory of well-orchestrated harassment, inclusive of covert spying operations and invasive break-ins, was purportedly initiated after she declined his request for access to the bounty of gifts he had bequeathed, cumulatively worth millions. Carlos, remaining steadfast in his dismissal of all allegations laid before him.
Notwithstanding, the presiding Judge of the High Court of England and Wales conveyed reluctance in asserting jurisdiction over the case on the preceding Friday, neglecting to pass any judgement regarding the legitimacy of these accusations. Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, who holds British citizenship, was met with the conclusion by Judge Rowena Collins Rice that her case did not demonstrate sufficient evidence for the ‘harmful event’, i.e., harassment she asseverates was instigated in England.
In response to the ruling, a representative for the esteemed 85-year-old former monarch claimed the verdict as a resounding affirmation of his innocence, conducive to the establishment of conditions favourable for future public appearances.
In sharp contrast, the claimant in the harassment case, associated with a 2020 timing, voiced her profound disenchantment with the unfolding of the case. Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn lamented, stating that her case illuminates the discouraging plight of harassment victims, who are frequently thwarted in their pursuit of justice within our legal structure.
The context of this claim can be traced back to the end of her relationship with the former king, subsequent to a 2012 elephant-hunting expedition in Botswana, marred by controversy and public outrage. Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn alleges that pressure was exerted upon her to return gifts worth €65m. Already grappling with financial instability and escalating unemployment, the Spanish populace was incensed by the exorbitant expense of flying a wounded Carlos back home from the ill-famed trip.
Credits of Chancellor Juan Carlos’s reign include managing Spain’s shift towards a democratic government in 1975. Yet, the illustrious monarch abdicated the throne in 2014, amidst brewing scandals implicating family members – notable among which was the corrupt dealings of Inaki Urdangarin, his son-in-law who faced subsequent incarceration. Since 2020, Carlos has sought sanctuary in the United Arab Emirates, having fled Spain after fraudulent allegations that were ultimately dismissed. A closed Swiss investigation associated with a multi-million dollar transaction from Saudi Arabia, due to a lack of substantiating evidence, adds further intrigue.