Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn (PA)
08 November 2022

Former Spanish king waits for ruling on latest stage of fight with ex-lover

08 November 2022

A former king of Spain is waiting to see if he has won the latest stage of a court battle with an ex-lover.

Businesswoman Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, 57, is taking legal action against Juan Carlos, 84, who abdicated in 2014, and is seeking damages for personal injury.

She alleges that he caused her “great mental pain” by spying on and harassing her.

Juan Carlos denies wrongdoing and disputes the claims made against him.

Juan Carlos on Tuesday staged an appeal bid after losing a fight in the High Court.

Lawyers representing Juan Carlos argue that he is “entitled to immunity from the jurisdiction of the English courts in his capacity as a senior member of the Spanish royal family”.

A High Court judge had disagreed.

Mr Justice Nicklin ruled earlier this year that the claim could go ahead in England.

Three appeal judges – Lady Justice King, Lady Justice Simler and Lord Justice Popplewell – considered  arguments about some of Mr Justice Nicklin’s conclusions at a Court of Appeal hearing in London.

They said they would deliver a ruling on a date to be fixed.

Neither Juan Carlos nor Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn were at the appeal hearing.

Lawyers representing Juan Carlos argued that Mr Justice Nicklin had made errors when ruling against him, while lawyers representing Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn argued that Juan Carlos’s appeal should be dismissed.

Judges have heard that Juan Carlos ruled from 1975 until his abdication in 2014, and the succession of his son, King Felipe VI.

They have been told that Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, who lives in England and has a home in Shropshire, wants an “injunction and damages” resulting from “a continuous and ongoing campaign of harassment” against her, “commenced” by (Juan Carlos) from 2012, following the “break-up of an intimate romantic relationship” and her “refusal to let (Juan Carlos) use a financial sum irrevocably gifted to her, or to return other gifts”.

Lawyers representing her have alleged to judges that conduct “includes (the former king) or his agents smearing her and her business in the media, following her, entering her home in Shropshire, and bugging her homes and electronic devices”.

Timothy Otty KC, who is leading Juan Carlos’s legal team, told appeal judges in a written argument that the former king considered  Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn’s legal action to be “vexatious”.

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