Spain’s disgraced former former king Juan Carlos has won permission to appeal against a London court ruling that allowed his former lover to bring a harassment case against him.
Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, 58, also known as Corinna Larsen, is seeking civil personal injury damages from the 84-year-old former monarch, who lives in the United Arab Emirates.
Larsen, a Danish-German socialite and businesswoman who lives in Monaco and England, was the unofficial partner of Juan Carlos for years, but the couple split amid increased media and public scrutiny in Spain.
Juan Carlos abdicated and stepped down as king in 2014, allowing his son to become king Felipe VI.
In March, a High Court judge rejected Juan Carlos’ claim that he had state immunity and that English courts had no jurisdiction to hear the case. ALSO READ: UK court rules that the harassment case against Spain’s former king can proceed.
Judge Matthew Nicklin ruled that he was no longer a member of the royal household of his son, that would give him legal protection.
But two judges at the Court of Appeal have now allowed him to challenge the ruling about whether he had immunity before his abdication.
The harassment claim was first issued back in December 2020, and involves the alleged behaviour of Juan Carlos during his relationship with Larsen and when the relationship ended in 2009.
It details accusations of surveillance and harassment, including a claim that the former monarch verbally threatened the businesswoman, and that a member of Spain’s security services also threatened her physical safety and that of her two children at her homes.
The background to the claim stems from when Juan Carlos met Larsen in Africa in 2004, when she was involved in organising safaris. The relationship developed romantically, and they remained lovers until 2009, remaining close friends for a while afterwards.
Their relationship only became public after an incident in Botswana in 2012, when Juan Carlos broke a hip in an elephant-hunting trip with Larsen.
In 2020, after Larsen and Juan Carlos became subjects of judicial investigations for opaque financial dealings, including assets kept in tax havens, she sued the former monarch, accusing him of allegedly orchestrating threats and ordering unlawful covert and overt surveillance starting in 2012, after she declined to rekindle the relationship.
Lawyers for the businesswoman accuse Juan Carlos of now trying to frustrate her claim. The harassment case has been adjourned without a date for a full hearing being set.
Juan Carlos, who appeared in court documents under his full name Juan Carlos Alfonso Victor María De Borbón y Borboón, strenuously denies the allegations.
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