Janan Harb, 68, has quite a life story to tell: she says she was the former Saudi king’s secret wife. Harb, a Palestinian-born Christian, says she converted to Islam back in 1968 to marry the monarch.
Harb now lives in London and is a scientologist. A film is being made based on her life in the Saudi royal family. Harb is also planning to publish an autobiography by the end of 2016.
The woman spoke to RT about her first encounter with the prince.
“There was a big party for the Palestinians and the Lebanese, a Christmas party. The prince was the minister of interior at that time, he was invited, and that’s how we met,” she said.
For the next three years, Harb lived in the prince’s palace as his secret spouse.
“We had a lovely life [for] the first two years. It was a very beautiful life. But the third year was quite tragic, because it was taken seriously, and his brothers got involved.”
In 1971, Harb was deported to the UK.
“His brothers were grooming him to become a king, and didn’t accept him having a Palestinian Christian wife. I was deported without his knowledge,” she told RT.
She has since successfully sued the late king’s son, winning a historic UK High Court case.
The late king’s son has been ordered to pay Harb £12 million (US$17 million), according to a deal that was struck with the king before his death.
Harb told RT she has turned to the media in the hope that the Saudi royal family will face up to its duties.
“Every time you confront the Saudis, they tell you – instead of asking or finding the truth – ‘Oh! Maybe she was a prostitute, maybe she is a money digger’… Since he [the former king] didn’t take responsibility for his father’s reputation, he bears the blame himself.”
Saudi nationals are known to have a history of tricky relations with the UK legal system.
Just this week, one Sheikh managed to escape divorce payments in the UK after he was appointed a UN envoy by a small Caribbean nation, therefore receiving diplomatic immunity.
Sheikh Walid Juffali, whose fortune from his family’s business interests is estimated at £4 billion, faced a divorce suit in London’s High Court from his second wife, Christina Estrada, a former Pirelli calendar girl, after he secretly married a Lebanese television presenter in 2012.
Last month, a Saudi millionaire was cleared of raping a teenager after he claimed he may have penetrated her accidentally after tripping and falling on her.
Saudi Arabia is notorious for its strict interpretation of Sharia law, with alcohol and gambling banned and women not allowed to drive.
Women’s rights in the country have often been in the spotlight: a few months ago, a Saudi woman posted footage of her husband sexually abusing their maid. However, it was the wife who was facing a year in jail in the end, due to the Saudi law on revenge videos.