Former Spanish King Juan Carlos I won his London court battle Friday with an ex-lover who had sought 126 million pounds (USD 153 million) in damages for allegedly being harassed and spied on by him after their breakup. Danish socialite and businessperson Corinna Larsen, also known as Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, said the former monarch caused her “great mental pain” by orchestrating threats and ordering unlawful covert and overt surveillance of her. Larsen was Juan Carlos’ mistress from 2004 to 2009, the court said.
Juan Carlos, 85, who abdicated in 2014, denied wrongdoing and disputed the allegations, arguing that an English court didn’t have jurisdiction to hear the case because he doesn’t live in Britain. He has a home in Spain but currently lives in Abu Dhabi.
High Court Justice Rowena Collins Rice threw out the lawsuit after agreeing with the king. She added that Larsen, who owns homes in England, had not adequately shown the harassment occurred here, which could have provided an exception to the jurisdiction rule.
Collins Rice didn’t even consider Larsen’s claims against the king.
“The only question for me has been whether the claimant can compel the defendant to give his side of the story to the High Court,” Collins Rice said. “My conclusion, as things stand, is that she cannot.”
Larsen said in a statement that she was disappointed with the outcome and was considering her options.
“It is disheartening to see that victims of harassment often struggle to find justice in our legal system,” she said. “Juan Carlos has deployed his full armoury to grind me down and the reach of his power is immense.”
Messages sent by The Associated Press seeking comment from the king’s lawyers were not immediately returned.
The ruling comes 10 months after a U.K. appeals court panel tossed out part of the lawsuit on the grounds that some of the alleged harassment took place before Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014 and therefore, he had immunity as a former head of state.
Friday’s ruling dealt a blow to the remaining elements of the lawsuit.
Juan Carlos was once one of Spain’s most respected public figures for his role in the country’s return to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. But scandals involving Spain’s royal family began to mount in the later years of his reign, leading him to step down in favour of his son, King Felipe VI.