'Model paid £4m not to leak intimate video' with King Juan Carlos

·3-min read
Spanish actress Barbara Rey in 1974 - Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Getty Images
Spanish actress Barbara Rey in 1974 - Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Getty Images

Three of Spain’s largest companies paid a former lover of King Juan Carlos more than €5m (£4.2m) to prevent her from revealing their affair, according to the notebooks of a notorious former police chief.

The alleged liaison with model and actress Bárbara Rey is one of the many reported affairs of Juan Carlos, who abdicated in 2014 after a series of scandals and is now being investigated by Spain’s Supreme Court prosecutors for alleged financial improprieties

Energy company Repsol, telecoms provider Telefónica and Santander bank each paid €1.8 million to Ms Rey, according to the newspaper El Periódico, apparently starting from the late 1990s.

The newspaper had obtained the notebooks of José Manuel Villarejo, a disgraced former police commissioner entangled in allegations of spying, fraud and bribery.

Mr Villarejo’s source for the information was the former CEO of Repsol, Ramón Blanco, who said the companies channelled the money to Ms Rey via Spain’s secret service, then known as the CESID, according to the notebooks.

Barbara Rey as Miss Spain - Bill Orchard/Shutterstock
Barbara Rey as Miss Spain - Bill Orchard/Shutterstock

“In total there were six annual payments of 150 million pesetas (€900,000). They gave the money to CESID, who passed it to the artist,” the newspaper reported.

Ms Rey, a glamorous film and television star who once represented Spain at the Miss World beauty pageant, has never publicly identified Juan Carlos as her lover.

But she has talked on gossip shows and in the press about her secret relationship with a “senior figure from the state”.

Emilio Alonso Manglano, who was head of Spain’s secret service between 1981 and 1995, wrote in his memoirs that Ms Rey received large sums of money in return for not publicly revealing her affair with the King.

He also alleged that the actress had videos of the pair engaged in intimate acts.

"She has three videos recorded at her home, with hidden cameras in the dining room and two more in the bedroom. You can hear everything," he said he told colleagues at the time.

Alberto Saiz, another former director of Spain’s secret service, renamed as the CNI, last week suggested that Ms Rey had “blackmailed” Juan Carlos.

Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife Queen Sofia in 2004 - CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP via Getty Images
Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife Queen Sofia in 2004 - CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP via Getty Images

In an interview aired on LaSexta television channel, Mr Saiz denied that public funds had been used to buy the actress’s silence, but said it had been done by “external sources” that he did not wish to name.

“This person also was being given access to work contracts, getting the odd advert and other things of that nature,” said Mr Saiz, who led the agency between 2004 and 2009.

He alleged that Ms Rey had worked for the Valencia public television station thanks to influence being exerted in her favour.

In 1997, when Ms Rey reported a break-in at her home involving the theft of photographs and video she said could be embarrassing for a high-up individual.

In the same year, a scheduled interview with Ms Rey on Valencia’s Canal Nou television station was pulled at the last minute, with the actress telling a newspaper reporter that she had been locked in a room and barred from entering the studio.

Ms Rey, now 71 years old, has denied ever receiving money from Juan Carlos or his circles.

None of the three companies mentioned by Mr Villarejo as having made the payments to Ms Rey have commented on the claims.

The 83-year-old Juan Carlos, who is currently living in exile in Abu Dhabi, saw the end of his reign tarnished when his extramarital relationship with Danish businesswoman Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein became public knowledge.

Ms Sayn-Wittgenstein, who lives in the UK, is suing Juan Carlos at London’s High Court for what she alleges to have been a campaign of harassment carried out by Spanish secret service agents at the former King’s behest.

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