Former Spanish king asks High Court judge to dismiss ex-lover’s damages claim

Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn is suing Juan Carlos (Brian Farmer/PA)
Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn is suing Juan Carlos (Brian Farmer/PA)

Spain’s former king has asked a High Court judge in London to dismiss a damages claim made by an ex-lover.

Danish businesswoman Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, who is in her late 50s and has homes in England, has sued Juan Carlos, 85, who abdicated in 2014, and wants damages for personal injury.

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

Mrs Justice Collins Rice was told on Tuesday, at a High Court hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice complex in central London, that Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn wanted more than £126 million in damages.

Juan Carlos I of Spain, left
Juan Carlos has denied any wrongdoing (PA)

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

A barrister leading his legal team asked Mrs Justice Collins Rice to “strike out” Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn’s claim.

Adam Wolanski KC said Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn wanted “damages in excess of £126 million”.

He argued that her case had “no realistic” prospect of success and that evidence “simply did not disclose a viable case”.

“Many of the matters the claimant relies on are subject to state immunity,” Mr Wolanski told the judge.

“The pleaded case of harassment is a diffuse collection of complaints, some trivial, mostly historic.”

He said Juan Carlos “emphatically denies ever having harassed the claimant”.

Lawyers representing Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn said the “strike out” application was “misconceived” and should be refused.

“The defendant continues to make every effort to prevent the court from determining this claim,” barrister Jonathan Caplan KC, who is leading Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn’s legal team, told the judge in a written case outline.

“The suggestion made on behalf of the defendant that the claim is somehow abusive in that it is by itself designed to harass a vulnerable elderly statesman is both unfounded and bold.”

A number of other judges have overseen earlier hearings in the litigation.

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

They have heard that Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn is Danish, lived in Monaco between 2008 and 2019, and has homes in London and Shropshire.