Spain’s former king Emeritus Juan Carlos is being sued by his former mistress in a British court for allegedly spying on her.
Corinna Larsen, a Danish-German businesswoman, has asked a London court for a restraining order against the royal and compensation for damages for his alleged harassment, according to a public relations firm representing her.
The development is the latest twist in a financial scandal involving 83-year-old Carlos.
Carlos’ lawyer, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, has repeatedly defended the ex-monarch during the ongoing financial scandal that prompted the suspicions of investigators in Switzerland and Spain.
Corinna Larsen testifying in court earlier this year
Swiss prosecutors are looking at the transfer of several million euros that Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah gave to Carlos.
In 2012, it was reported that the former Spanish king transferred around 65 million euros (£55m) to Ms Larsen, 57, as “a gift”.
Investigators suspect the transfer was an attempt to hide the money from authorities.
It is believed that Ms Larsen’s reluctance to return the money to Carlos is the cause of their current fallout.
Recordings of Ms Larsen, who now lives in England, speaking with a former police chief were leaked to the press in 2018.
She claimed that Carlos received kick-backs from commercial contracts in the Gulf States – particularly in the late-2000s construction of the 6.7bn euros (£5.6bn) Haramain high-speed railway in Saudi Arabia.
King Juan Carlos with Saudi King Abdullah in 2007
She also said he maintained these proceeds in a bank account in Switzerland.
The businesswoman then alleged the former king had bought properties in Monaco under her name to circumvent the tax treatment of lawful residents.
Ms Larsen’s allegations drew demands for Carlos to be investigated for corruption in June 2019.
Carlos abdicated to his son, Felipe VI, in 2014, citing personal reasons.
Juan Carlos (L) abdicated the throne to his son, King Felipe VI (R) in 2014
His reputation as a leader of Spain’s democratic transition following the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco has been tarnished by this and other scandals.
In March 2020, the Spanish royal household announced that King Felipe VI would renounce any inheritance from his father.
They also said the former king would lose his salary from the state’s general budget.
Since August 2020, Carlos has lived in self-exile from Spain in the United Arab Emirates after Spanish investigators opened an inquiry into whether he had received kickbacks for a contract that Saudi Arabia had awarded a Spanish consortium.