Spain's Royal Family, one of Europe’s oldest dynasties, has found itself at the centre of arguably the biggest crisis in a generation, as in addition to quite a few financial controversies, a Madrid court is preparing to hear bombshell claims from a former royal mistress that she was persecuted by a rogue spy chief after she cut her ties to the Royal Family, The Telegraph reported.
German-born socialite Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, once a lover of Spain’s former King Juan Carlos, who managed to smoothly restore the monarchy and democracy in the country after General Franco’s death, was scheduled to testify on Monday, but the hearing was cancelled due to the coronavirus.
While awaiting the court proceedings, she reportedly claimed in an affidavit that General Félix Sanz Roldán, the former head of the country's National Intelligence Centre, spearheaded an entire campaign of intimidation after she fell out of Juan Carlos’ favour.
Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein claims the harassment kicked off in April 2012, some time after she joined the former King on a hunting trip to Botswana.
Around the time, she says, she received a text message from a private security firm she had never heard of who said her “friends in Spain” had instructed them to take care of her, and deployed former French Foreign Legionnaires at her flat in Monaco. Roldan denies the allegations and has so far declined to comment on the matter to The Telegraph, and so has the Palace.
Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein reportedly claims in the court files that the intimidation operation proceeded further, citing mysterious break-ins at her British home, which is why she is understood to be going to launch a suit against the Spanish Royal Family at the High Court in London.
The scandal closely follows a huge financial controversy that was first revealed in 2015, also at the hands of Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, who at the time made a slew of serious allegations of financial wrongdoing by Juan Carlos. The documents that came to light during the investigation linked both Juan Carlos and his son King Felipe, who took over after his father abdicated in 2014 due to private life scandals, to a hefty private fortune in covert offshore foundations.
Last week, The Telegraph revealed in a reputation-ruining disclosure, that Felipe, who has been believed to be pursuing a highly ethical - as compared to his father’s - royal course, had been named as a beneficiary of a fund holding a €65 million (£60 million) gift from Saudi Arabia given to Juan Carlos when he was King.
The British newspaper also revealed King Felipe's name was also allegedly among the beneficiaries in the statutes of Fondation Zagatka, a fund owned by Juan Carlos’ cousin.
Felipe instantly spoke out rushing to distance himself from the claims, defying any material goods his father might leave him and excluding Juan Carlos' allowance from the royal budget.
Quite a few of Felipe's supporters rushed to throw their weight behind his policies, attempting to restore the reputation of a king who is “exemplary, honest, and responsible", as El Mundo put it. El País, meanwhile, has acknowledged that it might be the appropriate time for Juan Carlos to “answer before the law”.