Saturday, April 1

An HBO documentary reveals how the secret service operated to protect the scandals of King Juan Carlos

In case there was still any doubt, save the king. A new documentary on the HBO Max platform, which is available to subscribers from 9:00 a.m. this Friday, and which reveals how the entire machinery of the State worked for years to protect King Juan Carlos I from his own acts and in hiding their scandals. The Spanish intelligence services came to organize the meetings of the now emeritus king with his lovers in secret places and, as reflected in the unpublished audiovisual work, they paid the actress Bárbara Rey for years before the blackmail to which the vedette submitted to the now Centro National Intelligence (CNI) –formerly CESID– threatening to make public those audios in which the monarch speaks naturally about issues that directly affect state security, as well as more intimate and private matters.

The British Justice denies immunity to Juan Carlos I in the process for harassment of Corinna Larsen

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One of the darkest episodes is marked by the mythical escape of the former director general of the Civil Guard, Luis Roldán, in 1994, after learning that he had stolen more than 400 million pesetas from the reserved funds and had benefited from commissions also worth millions of works. awarded by your department. “They tell me from the Civil Guard that I hope he turns up dead,” says Juan Carlos I in one of the recordings made public by the HBO Max documentary. Finally Roldán was captured alive by Spanish police in February 1995, in a controversial operation by the Spanish authorities.

The work, produced by Mandarina and directed by the journalist Santiago Acosta, also confirms the legend that for decades held that Bárbara Rey, alleged lover of King Juan Carlos I, kept compromising recordings of her meetings with the monarch that could shake the foundations of the head of state. It also reproduces, for the first time, some of these hitherto unpublished audios.

The image of the monarchy has cracked in recent years due to the continuous scandals in which the now emeritus has been involved, which led him to abdicate in favor of his son in 2014. The images of his elephant hunts in Botswana, as well as the different investigations opened by the justice system into the alleged illicit origin of his assets – all of them archived by the Spanish Prosecutor’s Office for focusing on crimes protected by the inviolability he enjoyed when he reigned or for having prescribed, except for the accusation of harassment of Corinna Larsen, who is litigating in the British courts – and her millionaire tax regularizations, led Juan Carlos I to flee the country in 2020, as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Since then he has lived in the United Arab Emirates and has only returned to Spain once, last May, to take part in a regatta in Sanxenxo (Pontevedra).

The documentary now delves into all these controversies and threatens to definitively sink the “exemplarity” that Juan Carlos I was supposed to have in his first decades of reign and that now only the right-wing parties and their media dare to publicly claim. related. The platform offers hitherto unknown material from the monarch, recorded by Bárbara Rey herself, in which she talks about state affairs with her lovers and about political leaders such as former government presidents Felipe González or José María Aznar.

It is, in short, a fascinating story of spies, conspiracies and pacts of silence in three installments. More than 50 testimonies in the first person, among which are journalists, politicians, former secret agents and some ex-lover unknown until today who x-ray a transcendental time in the recent history of Spain and provide an intimate and at the same time devastating portrait of Juan Carlos I, a monarch who, according to the interviewees, betrayed his father to be king, ended 40 years of dictatorship, put the monarchy in danger for love and had to abdicate his son and leave Spain, against his own will, to “save” the crown.

Miguel Salvat, Hanka Kastelicová and Antonio Trashorras are the executive producers for HBO Max. production services of save the king are run by Campanilla Films, SL, a Mandarina company.