Saturday, 8 August 2020

The Perry Mason style and look /VIDEO: PERRY MASON Official Trailer (2020) Crime, HBO Series

Perry Mason is an American period drama television series based on the character of the same name created by Erle Stanley Gardner which premiered on June 21, 2020, on HBO. The series was developed and written by Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald and stars Matthew Rhys in the title role. In July 2020, the series was renewed for a second season.

The series focuses on the origin story of famed defense lawyer Perry Mason. In 1932, Los Angeles is prospering while the rest of the U.S. is recovering from the grip of the Great Depression. Down-and-out private investigator Perry Mason is struggling with his trauma from The Great War and being divorced. He's hired for a sensational child kidnapping trial and his investigation portends major consequences for Mason, his client, and the city itself.

On August 15, 2016, it was reported that HBO was developing a drama series based on the Perry Mason stories written by Erle Stanley Gardner. The production was expected to be written by Nic Pizzolatto who was also set to executive produce alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Joe Horacek. Production companies involved with the series were slated to consist of Team Downey. On August 25, 2017, it was announced that Pizzolatto had dropped out of the production in order to focus on the third season of True Detective and that he was being replaced as the project's writer by Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald.

 On January 14, 2019, it was announced that HBO had given the production an order as a limited series. It was further announced that Jones, Fitzgerald, Susan Downey, and Amanda Burrell would serve as additional executive producers, that Matthew Rhys would serve as a producer, and that the production was in the process of hiring a director. Jones and Fitzgerald serve as showrunners for the series as well. In March, Tim Van Patten was announced as director and executive producer. On July 22, 2020, it was revealed HBO had decided to turn Perry Mason into a regular series, renewing it for a second season.


Alongside the initial development announcement, it was confirmed that Robert Downey Jr. would star as the titular Perry Mason. On July 25, 2018, it was reported that Downey had dropped out of the role due to his feature film schedule and that a search for his replacement was ongoing.[18] On January 14, 2019, it was announced that Matthew Rhys had been cast to replace Downey. Tatiana Maslany joined in April. John Lithgow was added to the cast in May. In June, Chris Chalk and Shea Whigham were cast in lead roles, with Nate Corddry, Veronica Falcón, Jefferson Mays, Gayle Rankin and Lili Taylor set in recurring roles. Juliet Rylance, Andrew Howard, Eric Lange, Robert Patrick and Stephen Root joined in July. Justin Kirk would be added in October.

Costume designer Emma Potter.

Inside the Costume Design of HBO's 'Perry Mason': "There's So Much Wear and Tear and Life"

8:45 AM PDT 7/3/2020 by Degen Pener


Courtesy of WarnerMedia

Matthew Rhys in 'Perry Mason'.


Costume designer Emma Potter talks about the fascinating sources she relied on to bring the characters of the Depression-era miniseries, starring Matthew Rhys, to life.

On HBO’s new miniseries Perry Mason, wildly contrasting aspects of 1930s Los Angeles are spotlighted by differences in costume. “With the Great Depression happening and also with the movie industry happening, there was this strange juxtaposition in the city,” says Emma Potter, costume designer of the series, which stars Matthew Rhys as the famed private investigator. “We capture all of that, from a New Year’s Eve gala in a Hollywood studio to seeing people with nothing who migrating to the city from other states looking for work.”


Potter says that in her work on the show, which airs its finale Aug. 9, she above all wanted to “avoid a glossed-over or stylized feel from a costume standpoint.” To do that, she relied on original photography and documentation to get a sense of what people really looked like, including the book Quick Watson, The Camera — Seventy-five years of News Photography, edited by Delmar Watson, which documents the work of the Watsons, a family of photographers in Los Angeles. And from looking at shots by photographers like Dorothea Lange, she saw that, for many people of that era, “the clothing becomes like a second skin. There’s so much wear and tear and life on the garments. You saw how much life was on them and how much it had worn people away. They aged a lot faster and they were just more weathered. We were trying to find these real people. That was the driving force of the whole design process.”


For the wardrobe of lead character Perry Mason, Potter leaned into that idea of wear and tear. “Mason looks like he just rolled out of bed. He’s very worn in and broken down and fraying,” says the designer, who put considerable effort into getting one particular garment, his jacket, just right. “We had this idea that we wanted him to have this kind of jacket that’s almost like a piece of armor, that he can kind of disappear within.” Potter looked at photographs from the era to decide on the proper silhouette, then started sourcing vintage jackets for Rhys to try on.


“It was important for Matthew and I to start from a place of vintage clothing even though we would have to build something for him. To put something old and worn on was an organic way to find this character that was so disheveled,” she says. Eventually she settled on a brown leather jacket for Mason and made up to seven versions of it, some with cigarette burns and buttons that have unraveled. “We had a great ageing and dyeing team who came in and spent a really long time breaking down the garments.” She also notes Mason’s habit of acquiring clothes from unusual places. “He’s just going around and scrounging up stuff. So nothing has to fit him right. Nothing has to make any sense. His clothing might not fit as properly as other people’s garments. It might actually be a bit big for him but he’s comfortable in it and he can move around in it.”


While Potter stresses that Mason “is who he is,” for most of the other main characters, there are interesting differences between how they present themselves publicly and how they are when they are alone. “When they are in their own homes, they are very different people. All of them have these other aspects of their lives,” says Potter (who was the costume designer on season three of HBO’s True Detective.)


That’s especially the case with Sister Alice, played by Tatiana Maslany, who is loosely based on the evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. In her public role at her church, “she has this stage presence,” says Potter. “She almost kind of feels like a leading lady. She’s this celebrity icon who people are gravitating towards. She’s a real spectacle. So something I enjoyed learning was that the actual Sister Aimee had her gowns made by people who were designing costumes for films.”  In the series, Sister Alice’s gowns are “very glamorous silken gowns with this pearlescent quality in red, white and blue or gold and and silver. She is very glossy,” says Potter.


But when Sister Alice is at home, “she’s a different character,” says Potter. “I don’t want to give too much of that away, but the version of her that is at home or backstage, who’s not in her performance clothing, is a completely different look. It’s that juxtaposition of the character’s public and private sides that is always so compelling for me.”


For the character of Paul Drake, a beat cop, played by Chris Chalk, the costume designer consulted the book Defender of the Angels, A Black Policeman in Old Los Angeles, published in 1969, written by Jess Kimbrough about his experiences in the early decades of the last century. “[Kimbrough] wasn’t the first Black police officer. LAPD had Black officers starting in the late 1800s and the numbers increased as the city grew. He was however the first to write an account on his time,” says Potter.


On the show, Drake is fastidious about his appearance. “Chris and I worked really closely on figuring out what it means when he’s in his police uniform. He probably keeps himself a little neater, a little more polished than the other officers around there. He pushed himself a little bit harder,” she says. When he’s not working, one of Drake’s signature pieces is a brown knit pea coat. “It’s another favorite piece in how strong and unusual it is,” says Potter, who consulted Bette Yarbrough Cox’s book Central Avenue: Its Rise and Fall, 1890-c1950: Including the Musical Renaissance of Black Los Angeles and looked at images of what musicians wore when playing at the Dunbar Hotel’s night, a center of the jazz scene in L.A. “I remember [executive producer and director] Tim Van Patten posing a question of what does Paul wear to church or out for a date with his wife and that spurred the whole creative process for me.  He was so good at inspiring the design process in a really organic way.”


To put together Perry Mason’s costumes, Potter relied on a variety of sources, working closely with Western Costume Company as well as other costume shops such as Palace Costume, MPCC and American. She built many pieces in-house and collaborated with makers such as Serj Custom Tailoring for men’s suiting, Bill Hargate Costumes (for Sister Alice’s gowns) and Anto for men’s shirting. Himel Brothers made Rhys' leather jackets.


But she didn’t want to go overboard and create wardrobes that were too extensive for the era. “It’s not a time period when everyone has a lot of clothing,” she says, pointing for example to the character of legal secretary Della Street, played by Juliet Rylance. “It was really important for us for certain characters such as Della to have a pretty small, concise closet and to repeat the clothing, to make sure that every time she steps out of the door she doesn’t have a different outfit. Someone like Della is going to really take care of her garments and you see the mends or repair work she would have done.”

Perry Mason: Conversation with Robert Downey Jr. and Matthew Rhys (Inter...

Friday, 7 August 2020

Prince Harry hits out at social media for creating 'crisis of hate'



Prince Harry hits out at social media for creating 'crisis of hate'


Duke of Sussex urges advertisers to demand companies do more to curb hate speech online


Alex Hern


Fri 7 Aug 2020 12.02 BSTFirst published on Fri 7 Aug 2020 11.54 BST


Prince Harry has hit out at social media companies for creating a “crisis of hate” and called for “meaningful digital reform” after an unprecedented advertiser boycott of Facebook.


In an opinion piece for the US business magazine Fast Company, the Duke of Sussex revealed that he and his wife, Meghan, had begun campaigning for change in social media “a little over four weeks ago”.


Their personal campaign came at the same time as the launch of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which persuaded a number of major advertisers, first in the US and later globally, to pull their spending on Facebook and Instagram in protest against the lax enforcement of hate speech policies.


“Some may ask why a change campaign would take aim at online advertising,” the prince wrote. “Well, many of us love and enjoy social media. It’s a seemingly free resource for connecting, sharing and organising. But it’s not actually free; the cost is high.


“Every time you click they learn more about you. Our information, private data and unknown habits are traded on for advertising space and dollars. The price we’re all paying is much higher than it appears. Whereas normally we’re the consumer buying a product, in this ever-changing digital world, we are the product.”


The opinion piece stops short of naming specific companies, although the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which is explicitly cited, was targeted directly at Facebook.


It is also slim on specific proposals for change. “There is huge value,” the Queen’s grandson wrote, “in advertisers sitting at the table with advocacy leaders, with policy leaders, with civil society leaders, in search of solutions that strengthen the digital community while protecting its free and open nature.”


Harry calls on advertisers “to use their leverage, including through their advertising dollars, to demand change from the very places that give a safe haven and vehicle of propagation to hate and division”. But the prince does not specifically push for advertisers to continue supporting the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which expanded to cover the UK and Europe last week.


Since they stepped back from their duties as members of the British royal family, Harry and Meghan Windsor have both been campaigning against online hate speech, although this is the strongest intervention from either to date.


Imran Ahmed, the CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which is coordinating the Stop Hate For Profit campaign in the UK and Europe, said: “Social media gives bigots the opportunity to spread hate and misinformation to an audience of millions for free. In this coronavirus pandemic, especially when it comes to a potential life-saving vaccine, the whole world has been made painfully aware that lies cost lives.


“Social media users have in the past been ignored by social media companies because they are the product, not the customers. Our data, our thoughts and our sentiments are packaged and sold to their real customers, the advertisers.


“That’s why the Duke of Sussex is so right to highlight the unique capacity and moral duty advertisers have to force platforms to do something about the bigotry and dangerous misinformation. Companies that want to play their part can send a message by pausing or reducing their advertising on Facebook until they take credible action.”

Thursday, 6 August 2020

PODCAST Hadley Freeman on the future of the royals



Hadley Freeman on the future of the royals


Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman discusses the fallout from the publication of Finding Freedom, a biography of Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and the latest allegations surrounding Prince Andrew

Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman tells Rachel Humphreys why 2020 is not shaping up to be a great year for the royals. It began with the bombshell announcement that the Sussexes - Prince Harry and his wife Meghan - were stepping back as senior royals, and later saw them relocate to Los Angeles. Last month, extracts from a biography, Finding Freedom, chronicled what the authors claim has been a deepening rift between Prince Harry, Meghan and Buckingham Palace.

Hadley also discusses Prince Andrew. He ended 2019 by stepping back from public duties after his disastrous Newsnight interview where he discussed his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The arrest of Epstein’s close friend Ghislaine Maxwell in July has put Prince Andrew’s name back in the headlines. This month the FBI has said it has been passed information from a witness claiming to have seen the Duke of York at Tramp nightclub, the evening he claims he was at Pizza Express in Woking.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

US suit retailer files for bankruptcy as joggers and polo shirts take over

 US suit retailer files for bankruptcy as joggers and polo shirts take over


Tailored Brands, owner of Men’s Wearhouse and JoS. A. Bank, hit by Covid-19 lockdown-driven shifts in workwear


Priya Elan Deputy fashion editor

Tue 4 Aug 2020 20.18 BSTLast modified on Wed 5 Aug 2020 04.36 BST


US company Tailored Brands, which controls Men’s Wearhouse and JoS. A. Bank, has become the latest mens suit specialists to file for bankruptcy in the US as office workers stay home during the pandemic.


The company, which operated about 1,400 stores and employed 1,800 workers, filed for Chapter 11 protection in Houston, Texas.


CEO Dinesh Lathi said: “The unprecedented impact of Covid-19 requires us to further adapt and evolve. Reaching an agreement with our lenders represents a critical milestone toward our goal of becoming a stronger company that has the financial and operational flexibility to compete and win in the rapidly evolving retail environment.”


The coronavirus has kept millions of office workers at home and out of shops that sell suits. In June, Tailored Brands reported that net sales had fallen by 60% in the previous three months, compared with the same period last year. As well as Men’s Wearhouse and JoS. A. Bank, J. Crew and Brooks Brothers have both declared bankruptcy in the last few months.


UK stores have also seen a decline in suit sales. In May Marks & Spencer boss Steve Rowe told the Guardian: “We are barely selling any suits and the number of ties I could probably count on one hand.”


It’s a similar story in Japan where brands such as Aoyama Trading have pivoted away from suits towards casual shirts and facemasks. Even before the pandemic, factors such as the “cool biz” campaign in the summer to save energy by raising air-conditioning thermostats have pushed corporate Japan towards a more casual look.


While corporate dress codes have been gradually relaxing over the past decade, the current crisis has accelerated the demise of the traditional suit and radically shifted attitudes towards workwear. Instead of formal workwear there has been a rise in comfortable and practical work from home staples such as joggers and “Zoom shirts” (smart shirts only worn for Zoom work calls).


Tara Drury, senior fashion and retail analyst at data marketing company Edited, said: “Many tailoring-focused brands started promoting ‘business-on-top’ looks as video calls became the norm, featuring dress shirts paired with relaxed trousers and smart joggers. While this did help push sales for smarter shirting, retailers shifted focus to polo shirts (which is) the new smart-casual alternative.”


The blurring of office wear and homewear can be seen in the latest data from, which charts the most searched for clothing items on the internet: searches for the functional Birkenstocks increased by 225%.


Drury said she believed the “dress down Friday” look would become the new normal, with an office look compromising of “smart joggers or drawstring trousers paired with a stretch blazer or knitted polo shirt”.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Spain puzzles over ex-King Juan Carlos's whereabouts - BBC News

There is intense speculation in the Spanish media about the whereabouts of embattled ex-King Juan Carlos, after his shock announcement on Monday that he was leaving the country.

The 82-year-old, who is targeted by a corruption probe, announced the move in a letter posted on the royal website.

It gave no details about his destination, but some reports suggest he has gone to the Dominican Republic.

Juan Carlos said he would be available if prosecutors needed to speak to him.

In June, Spain's Supreme Court opened an investigation into his alleged involvement in a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia.

Spain's scandal-hit former king Juan Carlos to go into exile / Allegations over offshore funds swirl around Spain's former king / Who is Corinna Larsen, the woman who shakes the Spanish monarchy?

Spain's scandal-hit former king Juan Carlos to go into exile


The 82-year-old says he is moving abroad to help son ‘exercise his responsibilities’ as king


Sam Jones in Madrid


Mon 3 Aug 2020 18.09 BSTFirst published on Mon 3 Aug 2020 18.07 BST


Spain’s former king Juan Carlos is to leave the country and go into exile abroad following a series of damaging allegations about his financial arrangements that have harmed the reputation of the monarchy and embarrassed his son, King Felipe.


In March Felipe stripped Juan Carlos of his annual stipend and renounced his own personal inheritance from his father after reports that he was in line to receive millions of euros from a secret offshore fund with ties to Saudi Arabia.


Three months later, Spain’s supreme court launched an investigation into the former king’s role in a deal in which a Spanish consortium landed a €6.7bn (£5.9bn) contract to build a high-speed rail line between the Saudi cities of Medina and Mecca.


On Monday afternoon the royal house published a letter sent by Juan Carlos to his son saying he would “move away from Spain” in the wake of the “public repercussions that certain past events in my private life are causing”.


The 82-year-old king emeritus, as he is now known in Spain, said he had taken the decision to leave the royal palace and the country to help Felipe “exercise his responsibilities” as king.


Juan Carlos added: “This is a very emotional decision, but one I take with great serenity. I have been king of Spain for almost 40 years and throughout them all I have always wanted what is best for Spain and the crown.”


The letter did not mention where the former king would go, nor when exactly he would leave Spain.


A Spanish government source said it “respected” the decision, adding the move showed “the transparency that has always guided King Felipe since he became head of state”.


The royal house said Felipe had expressed its “gratitude and respect” for the decision. It also said the current king was keen to stress “the historical importance of his father’s reign” and his service to Spain and to democracy.


Juan Carlos played a pivotal role in restoring democracy to Spain following the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975, not least when he stood firm in the face of an attempted military coup in 1981.


But in recent years the revelations about his private life and financial affairs have tarnished what was once seen as one of Europe’s model monarchies.


Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of Felipe six years ago after a series of scandals including over a controversial elephant-hunting trip to Botswana as Spain was devastated by the financial crisis.


Felipe’s decision to cancel his father’s stipend and forego his personal inheritance was viewed as proof of his desire to take firm action and distance himself from the scandals.


Spain’s Socialist-led coalition government has rejected calls for a parliamentary inquiry into the king’s finances, but it too has signalled its distance from Juan Carlos.


“It’s obvious that collectively Spaniards are hearing some unsettling reports that disturb all of us, and which disturb me too,” the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, said in July.


“But I think there are some things worth mentioning in all this. First, that there are some media that aren’t looking the other way – on the contrary, they’re reporting all this. Second, there’s a justice system that’s taking action. Third – and this is something I’m grateful for – the royal house itself had distanced itself following these disturbing reports.”


Sánchez also said the 1978 constitution – under which “the person of the king is inviolable and shall not be held accountable” – needed “to evolve in accordance with the standards and political conduct that society demands”.


Swiss prosecutors are looking into a number of accounts held in the country by the former monarch and his alleged associates. It is alleged in documents from the Swiss prosecutors that Juan Carlos received a $100m “donation” from the king of Saudi Arabia that he put in an offshore account in 2008. Four years later he allegedly gifted €65m from the account to his former lover Corinna Larsen.


Juan Carlos has said he never told his son he was set to benefit from two offshore funds, but he has made no further comment on the allegations.


Allegations over offshore funds swirl around Spain's former king


Questions over Juan Carlos’s finances are having an ‘unprecedented impact’ on the country’s monarchy


Sam Jones and Giles Tremlett in Madrid

Wed 15 Jul 2020 05.00 BSTLast modified on Wed 15 Jul 2020 05.01 BST,immunity%2C%20according%20to%20legal%20experts.

Damaging allegations over the financial arrangements of Spain’s former king Juan Carlos have placed the royal family under unprecedented scrutiny but are unlikely to result in current or futures monarchs losing their constitutional immunity, according to legal experts.


Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of his son, Felipe, six years ago, renouncing the throne after a series of damaging scandals including in a controversial elephant-hunting trip to Botswana as Spain was devastated by the financial crisis.


But allegations of impropriety have continued to follow the former monarch and have hobbled King Felipe’s efforts to move the monarchy out of his father’s shadow.


Recent reports in the British, Swiss and Spanish press have increased the pressure on the royal family. In March, Felipe stripped Juan Carlos of his annual stipend and renounced his personal inheritance from his father following reports that he was in line to receive millions of euros from a secret offshore fund with ties to Saudi Arabia.


Last month, Spain’s supreme court launched an investigation into the role the former king played in a deal in which a Spanish consortium landed a €6.7bn (£5.9bn) contract to build a high-speed rail line between the Saudi cities Medina and Mecca.


The inquiry is intended to “define or discard the criminal relevance of events that occurred after June 2014”, when Juan Carlos abdicated and ceased to enjoy constitutional immunity from prosecution.


Meanwhile, Swiss prosecutors are looking into a number of accounts held in the country by the former monarch and his alleged associates.


It is alleged in documents from the Swiss prosecutor that Juan Carlos received a $100m “donation” from the king of Saudi Arabia that he put in an offshore account in 2008. Four years later, he allegedly gifted €65m from the account to his former lover, Corinna Larsen.


Last week, Spain’s El Confidencial website reported that Juan Carlos withdrew €100,000 a month from the account between 2008 and 2012, and used the money to pay for some of the royal family’s expenses.


Juan Carlos has said that he never told his son he was set to benefit from two offshore funds, but has made no further comment on the allegations.


Although the Socialist party, which heads Spain’s minority coalition government, has sided with rightwing parties to head off a parliamentary inquiry into the king’s finances, it has been blunt into its assessment of the matter.


“It’s obvious that, collectively, Spaniards are hearing some unsettling reports that disturb all of us, and which disturb me, too,” the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, said last Wednesday.


“But I think there are some things worth mentioning in all this. First, that there are some media that aren’t looking the other way – on the contrary, they’re reporting all this. Second, there’s a justice system that’s taking action. Third – and this is something I’m grateful for – the royal house itself had distanced itself following these disturbing reports.”


Sánchez also said the 1978 constitution – which stated that “the person of the King is inviolable and shall not be held accountable” – needed “to evolve in accordance with the standards and political conduct that society demands”.


Carlos Flores, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Valencia, said that while there had long been “doubts or suspicions” about the former king’s private activities, “what’s happening now with the discovery of all these business dealings is unprecedented”.


But he questioned how any efforts to separate private behaviour from the public role would work in practice.


“The thing is that the king is the head of state – he’s a symbol of the state – and it’s impossible to distinguish between the public and the private,” said Flores.


“The public and the private are intertwined. If the king goes to open a monument and runs over a pedestrian with his car on the way, is that a public or private matter? And if he holds a banquet for the head of a neighbouring country and someone gets food poisoning, is the king responsible publicly or privately?”


Flores also said it would be “absurd” to try to change the constitution for the sake of the king’s immunity when there were many more pressing reasons for it to be overhauled.


Joaquín Urías, a lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Seville, agreed that while the allegations about Juan Carlos’s finances were having an “unprecedented impact” on the monarchy, any revisiting of the Spanish constitution was extremely unlikely given the yawning divisions in the country’s politics.


“Right now, changing the constitution is impossible, politically speaking, because of the ideological divisions within the country,” he said.


“It’s impossible to imagine political agreement over the king … or over territorial issues, such as Catalonia and the Basque country.”


Urías said both the government and current king appeared to be taking a pragmatic line when it came to the former monarch.


“I think the government is doing the only thing it can, which is trying to separate King Felipe VI from his father,” he said,


“And that’s what the royal house is also doing – I imagine at the suggestion of the government. It’s the most intelligent play for anyone wishing to maintain the system.”


Corinna Larsen plans to bring a case in UK courts alleging a continuous campaign of intimidation directed against her by elements of the Spanish state since details of the former king’s finances emerged.


Her legal team says she is relieved that proceedings have been opened in Switzerland.


I think the government is doing the only thing it can, which is trying to separate King Felipe VI from his father


“There has been wide-ranging illegal conduct against her in multiple jurisdictions to cover up the deceitful schemes of powerful figures in Spain,” said her lawyer, Robin Rathmell. “Those same people have attempted to make her the scapegoat for their decades-long improper conduct. She welcomes the opportunity to be heard publicly and for the matter to be properly investigated.”


The British historian and Hispanist Paul Preston, who has written biographies of General Franco and Juan Carlos, said Spain’s disenchantment with its former monarch should not detract from the “extremely courageous” role the king played in helping Spain in its transition to democracy.


“Whatever one says, one shouldn’t forget the historical legacy,” he said. “As far as things are concerned now – and this is true in a way of all the democracies – with the rise of populism, we’re seeing a dreadful loss of faith in the political elite for the obvious reason that they’re a lot of lying, incompetent bastards … The odd thing is why the disillusion doesn’t go further than it does.”


After passing through Portugal, Juan Carlos will have traveled to the Dominican Republic


The possibility that the king emeritus came to Portugal is being ruled out by the Spanish media, which are increasingly likely to be in the Dominican Republic, after having caught a plane in Porto. Marcelo and the King of Spain discussed in Madrid the question of the future of Juan Carlos.


Pedro Bastos Reis and Leonete Botelho August 4, 2020, 9:50 am


Where is the king emeritus of Spain, Juan Carlos, who left the country due to the repercussions of the revelations about his bank accounts in tax havens? Much has been speculated about his whereabouts. Dominican Republic and even Portugal – a thesis that has lost momentum in recent hours – are some of the possible destinations.


On Monday night, TVI said Juan Carlos would be in Portugal, at his home in Estoril, Cascais, where he spent part of his childhood during his parents' exile. In Spain, however, the press stresses that the news of Portuguese television does not cite any source.


THE PUBLICO knows that the king emeritus of Spain was in Portugal on July 18, a Saturday. The following Monday, the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, went to Madrid to, on a lightning visit, without entourage, visit the Prado Museum and have lunch with King Filipe VI, at the Zarzuela Palace. The two heads of state – who had met less than a month earlier, on 1 July, at the ceremony that marked the full reopening of the borders between Portugal and Spain in Elvas and Badajoz – then discussed the question of Juan Carlos' future. Contacted by the PUBLIC, the Presidency of the Republic replied to have nothing to say on the matter. The Foreign Office also said there was nothing to report on the matter.


The Spanish daily ABC guarantees that the monarch is in the Dominican Republic, where the multimillionaire and friend Pepe Fanjul lives. On this Caribbean island, the Fanjul family, notes El Español, owns half of the region's tourist grounds, which can lead to the monarch having at his disposal a discreet and exclusive place. In addition, in 2014, Juan Carlos took refuge in Casa de Campo, an exclusive resort on the island.


ABC adds that Juan Carlos de Madrid's trip to the Dominican Republic took place over the weekend, with the monarch making stops in Sanxenxo, Galicia, and Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto. La Vanguardia writes that the 82-year-old monarch traveled by car on Monday from Spain to Porto, where he boarded a plane to the Dominican Republic, where he plans to stay a few weeks.


Juan Carlos' departure from Spain was announced on Monday, after a letter was released in which the monarch addressed his son, Felipe VI, expressing his "absolute readiness to contribute to facilitating the exercise" of the king's duties.


In recent months, the pressure on Juan Carlos has increased substantially. The monarch is being investigated for receiving $100 million from the Saudi king and initially hiding them in a foundation, and then sending the money to former lover Corinna Larsen in a scheme to evade taxes.


The pressure under the king emeritus made a dent in the Royal House, precipitating the departure of Juan Carlos from Spain. Close friends of the king, on condition of anonymity, however, told El Mundo that the monarch admits to returning soon to Spain: "He told us, in all normality, that he may return in September," a close friend told the Spanish daily.


According to El Español, only five people know the whereabouts of Juan Carlos: King Felipe VI, who had been aware of his father's intentions for several weeks; the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, who coordinates a team of the Civil Guard to protect the king, and who, at the end of the Council of Ministers on Tuesday, is expected to speak; the former head of the Spanish secret services, Félix Sanz Roldán, close to the monarch; the lawyer, Javier Sánchez Junco; and the head of the Royal House, Jaime Alfonsín, appointed by Philip VI to negotiate with the king emeritus.


The same Spanish newspaper also advances with some of the possible destinations for Juan Carlos. In addition to the increasingly likely Dominican Republic, El Español admits the possibility of king emeritus going to Geneva, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Morocco or Miami in the United States.




Who is Corinna Larsen, the woman who shakes the Spanish monarchy?


Her name jumped into the spotlight after Juan Carlos fell during an elephant hunt in Botswana in 2012. That same year, the monarch transferred almost 65 million euros to an account in the name of the alleged mistress.



04 August 2020 — 13:02


Spanish King Emeritus Juan Carlos left Spain in the middle of an investigation into an alleged $100 million commission he received from the Saudis that passed through tax havens until he reached, in part, the account of his alleged mistress, German businesswoman Corinna Larsen. Who is the woman who is calling the monarchy into question?


Corinna Larsen met Juan Carlos in 2004 during a hunt in La Garganta (owned by the Duke of Westminster in Ciudad Real), according to El País. She then also used her married name, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, although she was already separated from her second husband, German Prince Casimir (her first husband was British businessman Philip Adkins). She would only lose her nickname and title as a princess when she remarried in 2019 to a 28-year-old model.


Daughter of Danish Finn Bönnig Larsen (who was European director of the Brazilian airline Varig) and German Ingrid Sauerland, she studied International Relations in Geneva and moved to Paris at the age of 21. In his youth, he vacationed in Marbella. He speaks five languages. She lived in Monaco, where I work as an advisor to Prince Albert and his wife, Charlene.


Corinna was 39 when she met Juan Carlos (married since 1962 to Sofia) and worked as a manager for an arms company, Boss and Company, which organized luxury hunts. After meeting the king, then 66, he founded Apollonia Associates, a company that "advises corporate and institutional clients on cross-border transactions", and also began working as an assistant to Juan Carlos.


She is the one who organizes, at the king's request, The Philip and Letizia's honeymoon in Cambodia, Fiji and California and has also sought work for Infanta Cristina's husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, at the Laureus Foundation, but this refusal -- since 2018 that he has been serving prison time for embezzlement and influence peddling and Corinna's name came up during the trial.


Rumors of Juan Carlos' extramatrimonial relationship with Corinna (who has a daughter from his first marriage and a son from the latter) came to public attention in 2012 after the monarch fell during an elephant hunt in Botswana, having to undergo emergency hip surgery on his return to Madrid.


On the trip, equally controversial for showing the king's life of luxury when the Spaniards lived in crisis, was also Corinna, her first husband and youngest son (photographed alongside Juan Carlos and the elephant he killed). It was not the first time they had traveled together, and Corinna was repeatedly photographed with the king.


He returns to the spotlight because of recordings of conversations with former policeman José Manuel Villarejo, currently in custody, where he reveals that Juan Carlos has accounts in Switzerland on behalf of iron foreheads and that he received million-dollar commissions for business with Spanish companies. And also, already this year, for having received almost 65 million euros that says that the monarch transferred to him for "gratitude and love".


The money will be part of the commission the monarch will have received from the Saudis because of the deal to build a high-speed train line between Mecca and Medina, in charge of a Spanish consortium. A deal that Swiss and Spanish are investigating, with Corinna -- who after the end of her relationship with the monarch claimed to have been the target of persecution by the Spanish secret -- accused of money laundering.