Former Spanish King Juan Carlos I has successfully had a $154 million lawsuit filed against him by his ex-lover, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, dismissed by a British court. Sayn-Wittgenstein claimed that the former king attempted to involve her in a tax-avoidance scheme and harassed her at her home.
Sayn-Wittgenstein, a Danish businesswoman with whom Juan Carlos had an affair between 2004 and 2009, alleged that in 2012, the former king gifted her $68 million to hide from tax authorities. According to her, Juan Carlos became abusive when he requested access to the money and she refused.
The ex-lover further claimed that Juan Carlos had her phone monitored, arranged for gunmen to shoot at CCTV cameras outside her home, and orchestrated the placement of a book alleging that British intelligence agents killed Princess Diana inside her property as a warning. She sought $154 million in damages from Juan Carlos as a result of these alleged actions.
However, Justice Rowena Collins Rice dismissed the case at London’s High Court on the grounds that Sayn-Wittgenstein could not prove she was harassed within British territory. The judge also stated that Juan Carlos could not be sued in the UK as he resides in the United Arab Emirates.
Denying the allegations, Juan Carlos’ spokesperson declared that the ruling “unsurprisingly confirms his innocence.” On the other hand, Sayn-Wittgenstein expressed deep disappointment with the decision and is considering pursuing further legal options.
The harassment lawsuit is one of several scandals that Juan Carlos has faced since he abdicated the Spanish throne in 2014. Amid declining public support and criticism over his extravagant elephant-hunting trip to Botswana, he passed the power to his son, Prince Felipe.
In 2020, Juan Carlos fled Spain to Abu Dhabi after a corruption investigation was initiated against him. Subsequently, this investigation, along with a probe into his alleged use of credit cards linked to foreign bank accounts, was dropped. In 2021, the former king settled a tax fraud investigation, paying the Spanish government $4.9 million.
With the dismissal of the harassment suit, all legal cases against Juan Carlos have now come to an end. This opens the possibility for him to return to public life, despite the fact that he has previously returned to Spain on multiple occasions since 2014 to participate in sailing competitions.
In response to the court’s decision, Juan Carlos’ spokesperson stated, “Today’s decision, favorable to His Majesty, re-establishes the conditions necessary for further public appearances.”
Overall, the ruling in favor of Juan Carlos signifies the conclusion of the legal obstacles he has faced in recent years and may pave the way for his reintegration into public life.