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King Juan Carlos insisted €65 million was ‘a gift’ to former mistress

Spain's ex-king Juan Carlos had denied that a former mistress at the heart of a graft allegation that pushed him into exile ever held money on his behalf, in a 2018 letter published Friday in Spanish media.

King Juan Carlos insisted €65 million was 'a gift' to former mistress
Former King Juan Carlos I photographed at an official event in December 2018

The Danish-born business consultant Corinna Larsen, who was the former monarch's lover between 2004 and 2009, has said she received a significant amount of money from Juan Carlos in 2012: 65 million euros ($77 million) according to Swiss daily La Tribune.

During an explosive interview broadcast Thursday on the BBC, she said he made this “enormously generous gift” out of “gratitude for looking after him” and because he valued her son.

Larsen, who still uses the surname zu Sayn Wittgenstein from a former German husband, is one of three people under investigation in Switzerland over $100 million which Juan Carlos received from late Saudi king Abdullah in a Swiss bank account.   

Swiss prosecutors suspect the 65-million-euro gift she received from Juan Carlos served to hide what was left of the money he received from the Saudi royal.

If that is the case, and if the money came from illegal activities, she could be liable for the crime of money laundering, which she denies.    

In conversations with a retired police officer which were apparently recorded without her knowledge that were leaked to online Spanish newspaper OK Diario, Larsen accused Juan Carlos of graft, saying he regularly flew to the Middle East and “returned with bags of money”.   

In the letter dated August 12, 2018 which Juan Carlos sent to his Swiss lawyer Dante Canonica, the former king says the donation which he made to Larsen in 2012 “was irrevocable”.

“I never received any amount back from her. I have never asked for it,” he wrote in French in the letter published in several Spanish newspapers including pro-monarchy daily ABC.

“Madame Corinna zu Sayn Wittgenstein has therefore never held money on my behalf, contrary to what may have been suggested in the Spanish media.”    

During her BBC interview, Larsen also said the former king never asked for the money back.

While Juan Carlos is not under formal investigation, the revelations made by Larsen have raised legal questions about the former king's financial affairs which officials are looking into in Spain and Switzerland, and pushed him to move to the United Arab Emirates on August 3rd.

Despite his self-imposed exile Juan Carlos, who abditicated in 2014, has said he remains available to prosecutors.

READ MORE: Exiled King Juan Carlos confirmed to be hiding out in United Arab Emirates

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ROYALS

Swedish Crown Princess and Prince catch Covid-19 for the second time

Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel have both tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time, although the pair have very mild cold symptoms.

Swedish Crown Princess and Prince catch Covid-19 for the second time
Both Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel have tested positive for Covid-19. Photo: TT

Sweden’s Royal Court announced that Prince Daniel had tested positive in a press release issued on Sunday, while Crown Princess Victoria’s second infection was revealed in another release on Saturday.

The royal couple, who are both fully vaccinated, first tested positive for the virus in March last year, and have only mild symptoms. 

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According to the press releases Prince Daniel was suffering “very mild symptoms and feels well”, while Princess Victoria has “the symptoms of a cold but otherwise feels well”.  

The couple are both now isolating in Haga Palace in the north of Stockholm, where they have lived since 2010. 

Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, who are triple-vaccinated, both tested positive on Tuesday. The couple are now symptom-free, but are continuing their isolation at Drottningholm Palace to the west of Stockholm. 

Prince Carl Philip, Victoria’s younger brother, and his wife Princess Sofia were the first Swedish royals to test positive in November 2020. 

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