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Episode #6 - Transcript

Blood is Thicker


Episode 6: Blood is Thicker – Money laundering, abdication, and a new princess

MISHEL (00:03): 

Previously on Corinna and the King… 

CORINNA (00:06): 

He then told me that he had leaked the Botswana information 

MISHEL (00:10): 

“There are many tunnels between Monaco and Nice.

CORINNA (00:15): 

You might end up like princess Diana – be an accident in a tunnel.”

ANA ROMERO (00:19): 

She never told us that she had $65 million sitting in her bank account.

CORINNA (00:24): 

You can’t ask me to marry you because you are already married. 

MISHEL (00:31): 

The king’s stare is aimed like a rifle at his quarry – a slim blonde named Corinna. Getting her has become like a thrilling chase. And a no won’t cut it. 

Even her own ex-husband, Philip, is in on it. He’s hosting Juan Carlos and Corinna at his country estate in Cambridgeshire.

CORINNA (00:53): 

Of course, we were never staying in the same bedroom, and everything was very, very clear. 

MISHEL (00:59): 

So clear that the king apprehends Corinna.  

CORINNA (01:04): 

He took me to one of the drawing rooms and basically told me he loved me and wanted to live happily ever after. 

MISHEL (01:12): 

He seems a bit frantic. His breathing is unsteady, nervous.  

CORINNA (01:19): 

And then the king asked me to marry him.

MISHEL (01:23): 

Again? Another proposal? Corinna tries not to laugh. She still has the giant diamond engagement ring he gave her in 2009, locked away in her safe, but this time it feels more bizarre. Why now? Why propose again?

He’s waiting for an answer. But she avoids his eyes. It’s sad, what their love has come to. The games he’s playing. Corinna shuts off the pain. No.

CORINNA (01:58): 

I realized the Catholic king could never get divorced. 

MISHEL (02:03): 

Juan Carlos frowns. No? he says. No, she says. Corinna is not stupid. She doesn’t forget. Her father was dying and he was off with another woman. The anguish and difficulty of the last few years. Corinna steels herself. 

CORINNA (02:24): 

You have hundreds of people trying to convince you how that would be the best decision I could ever take, because I was spoiled goods. Look at all this media that’s out about you. He was surrounded by people clearly trying to make him happy and encouraging him in this insane plan. And I would just do it because you must please the king. And that’s when you realize that to everyone, you are just a civilian, a commoner who has to just do what you’re told. And that’s not the way I was brought up. 

MISHEL (02:57): 

He won’t accept it. So he dangles a fancy title, one that seems to make her part of the family. Corinna would be Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Bourbon. An entirely fake title. 

She rolls her eyes. It’s all pretend. Corinna knows for a fact he can’t leave Sofia. So what does he expect, for her to live like his concubine? 

CORINNA (03:25): 

The whole thing was a fantasy. I didn’t take it seriously. I took it as a man who was getting quite desperate.

MISHEL (03:34): 

She almost feels sorry for him. 

His insatiable desire for women and money are swallowing him whole. The pressure is building on him, because in Madrid, Javier Ayuso, the king’s press officer, is writing up a dossier – the most important of his career.

JAVIER AYUSO (03:52): 

Well, we knew that it was an historic moment, and we knew that we had to do a very, very good job. So we prepared every detail from all the words of the king, questions and answers, map of publics, what we should do. We prepared everything. 

MISHEL (04:11): 

There’s a problem. 

JAVIER AYUSO (04:13): 

And it was very, very important to do it in secret.

MISHEL (04:16): 

One that will rock the entire country…..

JAVIER AYUSO (04:19): 

He told us one thing, “I want political ideas. I don’t want to say that I leave because I’m not in a good shape. I’m ill. No, no. We want political messages, saying that it’s better that there are new times in Spain, and there is a need for a new king for those new times.”

MISHEL (04:38): 

The king’s abdication. 

I’m Mishel Prada, and this is Corinna and the King, episode six – Blood is Thicker. 

It’s been two months since Juan Carlos proposed to Corinna. She’s just landed in New York City, to see Nastassia, her 21-year-old daughter from her first marriage to Philip Adkins.

CORINNA (05:07): 

I arrived late at the Mark Hotel where I would normally stay. And the Mark Hotel is a small hotel. There’s only one main entrance.  

MISHEL (05:18): 

Corinna always stays at the Mark on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It’s an historic art-deco building, with views of Central Park. A-list celebrities always go there for the Met Gala after-party.

CORINNA (05:30): 

And as I drove up to the hotel, I could see a gigantic Spanish flag outside the hotel. And for a moment I was thinking, wow, I wonder what that means.

MISHEL (05:41): 

It’s a coincidence, she tells herself, and falls asleep, only to be woken up early the next morning, her phone ringing off the hook. 

CORINNA (05:51): 

I bolted out of my bed, 

MISHEL (05:53): 

It’s her friends from Europe… 

CORINNA (05:55): 

telling me, have you seen, oh my god…

MISHEL (05:57): 

She turns on the TV. 

CNN Presenter (06:02): 

Spain’s king Juan Carlos has abdicated after nearly 40 years on the throne. 

CBS Presenter (06:07): 

Seventy-six-year-old King Juan Carlos said his son crown prince Felipe would take over, making room for a new generation.

CNN Correspondent (06:14): 

Now as to why… because of the growing number of scandals affecting the royal household… 

MISHEL (06:20): 

Spain has never forgiven the king. There have simply been too many scandals. The trust is lost in the monarchy, and yet Juan Carlos’s punishment feels more like a… gentle retirement. Spanish journalist Jose Antonio Zarzalejos said everyone knew he had to go.


The abdication was an act of responsibility, but it was also a form of sanction. In the Spanish Bourbon kings’ tradition, abdications are very rare. He found himself in that position, and I think Spanish society understood that it was a necessary act of responsibility.

MISHEL (07:01): 

Corinna, on the other hand, can’t believe it. She doesn’t have time to process it all, but then comes another surprise. Her phone rings again. It’s the head concierge, and he has news for her.

CORINNA (07:17): 

I’m now being told Queen Sofia is in the hotel. This makes strictly no sense to me. 

MISHEL (07:23): 

In the same hotel as the mistress? While her husband is calling it quits in Spain? 

CORINNA (07:30): 

When your husband abdicates the throne in an unprecedented historical decision and your son becomes king, surely you don’t travel on that day. 

MISHEL (07:43): 

But the Queen has an excuse. She has an important meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in Midtown. She’s the honorary president of the Spanish National Committee for UNICEF and apparently can’t reschedule it. Abdication or not. 

CORINNA (08:00): 

So she and I now found ourselves in an extremely tight space with two elevators for the entire hotel – one small lobby and one entrance and exit. All these paparazzi would be outside. And somehow would be blamed again because they already blamed me for everything. And I was like, oh my god, they’re going to blame the abdication on me too. 

MISHEL (08:22): 

Corinna has no choice. She has to leave her room sometime. She starts making her way down to the lobby, slinking across the black-and-white marble floors, poking around for the most important details – the queen’s lunch plans. Where is she going to be and when? 

The last thing Corinna wants is another unpleasant encounter with the queen and a photo op for the paparazzi. A couple of the hotel staff know Corinna well, they smile and raise an eyebrow, and whisper in her ear. She’s taking her lunch at the hotel restaurant

Book me a table at Sant Ambroeus, she says, the Italian restaurant on Madison Avenue. It’s just round the corner, but it’s away from… her. 

She’s meeting American painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel. She’s trying to slip out, looking for a back exit through the kitchen. She’s running late. But then she gets a call from Schnabel, waiting for her at the restaurant. 

CORINNA (09:26): 

And he says, Guess who’s in the restaurant?

MISHEL (09:30): 

She can’t think. Paranoid, she asks him, “Who? Who is it?” 

CORINNA (09:35): 

Queen Sofia.

MISHEL (09:39): 

It’s too late to change plans now. And maybe if she sneaks in fast, she’ll go in unnoticed. 

Except, when Corinna steps inside, Queen Sofia is sitting at the first table by the front door, facing Corinna, unshakeable.  

CORINNA (09:56): 

She’s there with a friend and clearly staring at me as I walk in. And it was almost, she was like, she was looking for a showdown to say “The poor victim, the betrayed wife, is here on her husband’s abdication and he is the awful mistress.”

MISHEL (10:15): 

The queen, who rarely talks to the press, ends up breaking protocol by making an official statement from New York about the succession. 

“I feel the same as always,” she says. “Everything is going to carry on as it is.” 

CORINNA (10:40): 

There seemed to be no emotion, no regrets, no kind word for her husband. So I think it was premeditated that she would be off the territory when that happened. 

MISHEL (10:50): 

It gets worse. Now that the king is unseated – free – he focuses so much of his attention on Corinna and his new life in London. She’s still saddled with the huge task of renovating his London apartment, attending interior design meetings, trying to match the solid marble bathroom with her own. 

Then, the other requests start trickling in. 

CORINNA (11:20): 

I was suddenly receiving emails from Juan Carlos’ chief of security, Vicente Mochales, almost giving me instructions like, “We need a plane. We need four cars. We need you to book hotel rooms at The Connaught Hotel.”

MISHEL (11:36): 

At first, they’re polite, small favors. Corinna has a charter contract. She’s happy to provide a plane if Juan Carlos needs it. 

CORINNA (11:46): 

But then I got a second request shortly thereafter, and that request was quite forceful, and it was almost like they were talking to their dedicated travel agent. “Well, I now need private air charters, and I need hotel rooms, and I need all of this travel logistics.”

MISHEL (12:04): 

By September, a mere three months after Juan Carlos has abdicated, it becomes clear what the now ex-king is desperate for. 

CORINNA (12:13): 

He wanted access to the gift in some way or shape. He wanted to use some of this money.

MISHEL (12:21): 

The gift of 65 million euros that he bestowed on his princess two years earlier – an apology, he said, for everything that happened after the Botswana trip. Except, a private plane here, a few luxury hotel suites there. It’s not looking like a gift anymore. Corinna doesn’t mess around. 

CORINNA (12:45): 

So I called his lawyer. Since I had not been privy to the conversations that led to this contract. I just thought I would raise a red flag here and say, “There’s a development that I’m detecting that makes me uncomfortable,” and I explained that to Dante Canonica, and he thought I was a bit paranoid. 

MISHEL (13:03): 

Corinna’s used to it. So she says, cold as ice… 

CORINNA (13:08): 

I said, “No, I don’t think I’m so paranoid. Would you mind coming to London and we’ll have a lunch together with His Majesty?”

MISHEL (13:18): 

They meet on her turf – her favorite spot in London, the Connaught. A subtle game for power begins, with 65 million euros at stake. 

Corinna sips from her water glass, eyeing Canonica and Juan Carlos. They talk in careful sentences, not quite saying everything. 

CORINNA (13:41): 

I say to the king, “Your Majesty, could you please explain what you are asking me, because you seem quite frustrated about me being reluctant to do certain things. What are your expectations?”

MISHEL (13:54):

Juan Carlos – who, yes, kept the title of His Majesty even if he didn’t keep the throne or the responsibilities – twitches, and then relaxes into a smile.

CORINNA (14:07): 

And he said, “Well, I just need you to organize my flights. I need you to give your credit card to the hotel. I need you to pay for certain things that I now need,” and it was very matter of fact. “Well, I’ve now abdicated and I need these things, and frankly, you can do this.” 

MISHEL (14:23): 

Corinna looks at the king’s lawyer. He’s staring at Juan Carlos, unblinking. “I don’t understand,” Canonica says, according to Corinna. What exactly do you mean? The king shrugs. 

CORINNA (14:38): 

And he said, “Well, I made the gift and now I need to access some of this money.” At this point, Canonica went ballistic. 

MISHEL (14:47): 

Canonica sits up straight in his chair, leans towards Juan Carlos, and speaks through gritted teeth. The people at the next table glance over.

CORINNA (14:57): 

He said, “We all asked you this question. This was discussed over a period of many months, and you’ll be putting a lot of people, including me and her, in an incredibly difficult position. Because we are entering a territory that is not legally sound.” 

MISHEL (15:14): 

The lawyer delivers a verbal cease-and-desist. And now Juan Carlos is angry. Angrier than he’s been in a long time. Corinna however, looks at him, evenly, not a hair out of place.

CORINNA (15:31): 

He was huffing and puffing, at which point I said to him, “Well, I don’t want to have any problems. Do you want the gift back?”

MISHEL (15:38): 

It seems like the obvious solution. She hadn’t asked for the money. Juan Carlos’s eyes grow wide. She takes another sip. The king’s lawyer takes the bait. 

CORINNA (15:51): 

And Dante Canonica said, “Well, give us a bank account in your name declared to the Spanish tax authorities.”

MISHEL (16:00): 


CORINNA (16:03): 

And when Canonica said this, the king was just shaking his head violently and was muttering to himself, “No, no, no, no, no. It’s okay. I understand. It’s all fine.” 

MISHEL (16:14): 

Suddenly, it’s no longer a problem. Forget the money, and do not, under any circumstances, send it back to the king’s bank account. 

CORINNA (16:23): 

The only way to make this legally, perfectly transparent and compliant, would’ve been to send it to an account that was properly declared to the Spanish treasury. And that would’ve involved for the king to actually declare these funds, the ex-king at the time, and then pay tax on them and explain the origin.

MISHEL (16:43): 

Pay tax? The king? Of course that was never going to happen, not without the authorities asking questions. Explain why he received it? That would be explosive.

CORINNA (16:57): 

The entire operation was about hiding the true state of his wealth from the Spanish Treasury and from the Spanish people. 

MISHEL (17:06): 

So Corinna keeps the money, while Juan Carlos stews. 

There was a phrase used about Corinna and the king. The palace spokesperson even used it as a way to deflect attention from the questions of corruption. David Lopez Canales of Vanity Fair Spain calls it vulgar, and says he wasn’t allowed to publish it


The king was in “encoñado” which is a word for someone almost adolescent who is obsessed with a girl or a boy in a very rational and very impulsive way. And from Zarzuela they went so far as to say that the king was encoñado with Corinna.

MISHEL (17:48): 

It’s another way to describe a man who’s enchanted by a woman’s sexuality – let’s just say it, pussy-whipped – Maybe that was Juan Carlos’ real downfall – women. Corinna, specifically.

Juan Carlos wants access to the money, yes, but he wants her too. And in the weeks following their lunch, Corinna has to turn down events, dinner invitations. She can’t be seen with Juan Carlos without reigniting speculation. But he’s started co-opting her friends too. 

CORINNA (18:24): 

Given the choice of being in the good books of a former king – a lot of people just chose social advancement, so it resulted in a large-scale abandonment. I felt very isolated, very lonely, very hurt. A lot of people who I thought were friends who I’d introduced to the former king suddenly ended up on holidays with him, at dinner parties, and I was sitting mostly at home just trying to come to terms with the falling apart of the life as I’d known it.

MISHEL (19:02): 

Her business, too – the one place she sought solace – is crumbling. Long-term clients, relationships she’d spent decades building, are suddenly ducking her calls, cutting ties. Business arrangements she forged on hunts with the king and special dinners across Europe wither away too. Later, she finds out why. 

Juan Carlos has been badmouthing her everywhere – especially the Middle East. 

CORINNA (19:35): 

I heard from reputable connections there that he had told the Saudis that I had stolen the gift. And as a result, I was told that I had been blacklisted. I was effectively called a thief, a criminal, a disloyal, dishonest, untrustworthy person to all of my contacts, all of my clients. They were encouraged to cease contact with me, to stop working with me, to break contractual agreements with me. And all of these things happened in short succession.

MISHEL (20:09): 

At this point, Corinna can’t tell if Juan Carlos loves her or hates her – or both. 

CORINNA (20:17): 

By this time, King Juan Carlos is infuriated by what he describes as my defiance. My independent spirit, the one I’ve been raised with, was interpreted as a huge disrespect to this enormously powerful former head of state and to a still extremely powerful head of the secret services. 

MISHEL (20:40): 

Juan Carlos is maddened by her, in love with her, obsessed. He starts flying to London every week just to be close. And finally, under pressure, Corinna agrees to see the king again. He comes to her apartment in Belgravia. 

CORINNA (20:57): 

And so the situation just went into a complete catastrophe.

MISHEL (21:05): 

It’s his final pitch. Move in with me, he says, into my London apartment.

CORINNA (21:11): 

He said he was expecting me to move when it was ready. And he expected me to pay the overheads, the service charge for this apartment to which I answered, but this is an apartment belonging to your Omani friends. It’s also a bachelor flat. I was never meant to be in it. I am not a piece of furniture. And so I could see he was just getting red, angry, and infuriated.

MISHEL (21:37): 

Corinna keeps her cool, unflappable. And that’s when he gets nasty, she says.

CORINNA (21:44): 

He said, “Well in that case, you’re useless” and “You will see. There will be consequences and they won’t be good.”

MISHEL (21:53): 

Corinna has to catch her breath. Why are you doing this to me? He stares at her; no affection in his eyes. 

CORINNA (22:04): 

He just answered, “Because blood is thicker.” It was a very brutal answer. A lot of people say when a former couple argue, it takes two to tango. But you know it doesn’t always. There are thousands of examples of men who cannot accept that their former partner moves on or doesn’t want to be with them any longer. Women get murdered, disfigured, physically abused. It’s a huge problem and these cases are in the thousands worldwide. I was dealing with the exact same manifestation of this obsession as other victims are dealing with. So it’s not unusual. I think what is unusual is that the perpetrator is a former head of state.

MISHEL (22:47): 

By the end of 2014, Corinna is isolated from her friends and threatened with violence, stalked, intimidated. And one morning in November…

CORINNA (23:07): 

I’m suddenly reading newspaper headlines, accusing me of stealing 30 million euros from Spain. It also suggested that the Spanish Secret Service had open secret bank accounts for me in the names of operational identities. And that they had allowed me to leave Spain with 30 million. 

MISHEL (23:28): 

Rumors are spreading online that the Secret Service is paying her 30 million euros in hush money, just like Juan Carlos has paid his other mistresses. It’s a smear campaign, a full-scale character assassination. And it’s working. 

CORINNA (23:46): 

It was the kind of propaganda that we associate with non-democratic countries where you become the designated enemy of the state, an enemy of the establishment, and you suddenly find that you’re being accused of wrongdoings you haven’t committed. So the Spanish population thought, “Here is this foreigner who nearly stole our king, who tripped him up and who then cashed in on all of these deals.” Spanish people started looking at me like an evil individual.

MISHEL (24:16): 

But that’s not all. Juan Carlos tells people Corinna stole the glittering collection of beautiful, hand-crafted elephant sculptures she, herself, gifted to Juan Carlos for his 70th birthday. The very set he asked her to keep, for her son, his so-called step son, Alexander.

CORINNA (24:37): 

In other words, I would’ve had to break into a royal property in Spain, overnight, carried out hugely heavyweight in silver, made it in and out unseen. And this was now a second theft accusation. It basically became a general theme – “She is a thief. Untrustworthy. The friendship is over.”

MISHEL (25:00): 

Stories of her alleged behavior go unchallenged in Spanish newspapers. Because Corinna is still the fall woman, the one who masterminded everything, who destroyed the Royal Palace, the home-wrecker. And in Spain, the mistress seems to always take the blame. 

PILAR EYRE (25:24): 

The public opinion took Sofía’s side. We as Spanish women took Sofia’s side and saw the other woman as that wicked foreigner who had manipulated Don Juan Carlos and had made him do all sorts of atrocities for love. So that also aroused hate in those who were keen on seeing Corinna as the bad guy, and not Don Juan Carlos.

MISHEL (25:45): 

Veteran journalist Pilar Eyre knows that Corinna could never compete with Juan Carlos. He may not be king, but he is still Spanish, a patriot, and still a Bourbon.

PILAR EYRE (26:01): 

He’s a wonderful strategist. So how is it possible that they blame Corinna? It’s absolutely his fault. 

CORINNA (26:09): 

I think he wanted to punish me for not coming back, maybe he still thought he could pressurize me into coming back. 

MISHEL (26:17): 

In Juan Carlos’ troubled mind, there’s always a chance to get Corinna back. And access to Corinna, means access to his proxy account – his 65 million.

She’s at her lowest point when her inbox flashes with an email from a familiar name. 

It’s Ana Romero, the reporter from El Mundo. And Romero has intelligence about the king and spy chief, General Sanz Roldán. 

CORINNA (26:48): 

She very clearly stated in writing that this was a message from the king and the Royal Household and Sanz Roldán, saying, “You either go back to the King,” you either resume, in other words, your romantic relationship, “Or it’s the money back.” That is clear blackmail. So I’m now suddenly realizing if I don’t play ball, if I don’t do what they’re telling me to do, I will now face accusations of theft. So at that point in time, I realized that the situation had broken down irretrievably and that I was in real danger.

MISHEL (27:23): 

She starts to see everyone, including Romero, as the enemy.  

ANA ROMERO (27:29): 

At the end of the day, I’m a journalist. And it’s very difficult for people to understand that journalists belong to nobody. When would a spymaster share his story? Would that ever happen? I mean, can you imagine the head of the secret intelligence service of any country telling a journalist the truth? Wouldn’t that be wonderful? 

MISHEL (27:50): 

Yet it’s Corinna who’s the target. And right now, she’s in a difficult spot. She doesn’t give the money back – she can’t, she says. What she doesn’t say is… she doesn’t want to. 

Corinna is turning 50. It’s January 2015. A new year, perhaps a new start? 

On the day of her birthday, she’s getting ready to go out to celebrate with her friends when her phone buzzes. She feels a cold sweat form at the site of his name alone. It’s Juan Carlos. She picks up. There’s a tiny hope that maybe he remembered her birthday, or just wants to end all of this.

CORINNA (28:38): 

He called up not so much to wish me a happy birthday, but to let me know that he was in Saudi Arabia. 

MISHEL (28:45): 

It’s a simple message – I’m in Saudi Arabia…  but it’s enough. He knows she’ll understand…

CORINNA (28:54): 

It was quite eerie.

MISHEL (28:56): 

She puts the phone down, grips the edge of her dressing table.

Juan Carlos is paying his respects at the funeral of King Abdullah in Riyadh. With Abdullah dead, his friends in the Middle East are climbing the ladders of power. The same friends who gave Juan Carlos millions to begin with. Mohammed Eyad Kayali, the man who arranged the hunting trip in Botswana, the close friend of Juan Carlos, is a key advisor to the new king, Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, thought to be the richest royal on the planet. And he wants Corinna to know about it.

CORINNA (29:38): 

Imagine the Saudi king being told that a generous gift they had made to their brother, to their friend had been stolen by this evil, wicked woman, and this was the narrative that he was putting forward. At the time of course, the Jamal Khashoggi assassination hadn’t happened, and the world was not alive to what it really means to be blacklisted in a country like Saudi Arabia. I, on the other hand, knew very well what that meant, and he wanted to make sure that I knew that he was there on the day of my 50th birthday. 

MISHEL (30:13): 

It’s the first time the king has threatened Corinna, according to her. She’s suspected before, she’s seen it second-hand from the General. But not like this. Sobs escape in loud gasps.

CORINNA (30:28): 

I think I was hyperventilating. I was in cold sweat. It really, really indicated to me how far he was prepared to go. It is what dictators and absolute rulers do. It’s the Franco, Stalin-type playbook. And it is the 21st century. Spain is a democracy. I think it is not clear to people that Franco’s spirit is alive and kicking. I felt really very alone. I was bordering on depressed, hopeless. They really wanted to show me that they had global reach. That they could reach anyone. It destroys any shred of hope that you have to ever find normality, peace, or a happy life again. And I realized in 2015, the efforts that were underfoot to really destroy me but I’m now talking about more than just the reputational destruction. It had moved into the possibility of a physical elimination or of pushing me into suicide. 

MISHEL (31:37): 

Corinna has gone from the highs of a royal love affair to the lows of an abusive relationship with a powerful man. She’s despised by the public, vilified by the press, terrorized by the secret service. Her business has tanked. Once an esteemed strategist, now painted as a common thief.

There is no end. Corinna feels like an island, every new allegation a burned bridge with one friend or another. And only a small, trusted circle remains.

CORINNA (32:15): 

Vanessa von Zitzewitz was a childhood friend of mine. I met her when she was 18. She’s like a younger sister to me. We would spend Christmas together because our whole environment had been so badly damaged that you then stick to your closest, your nearest and dearest. 

MISHEL (32:21): 

Corinna met Vanessa von Zitzewitz, an artist and photographer, decades ago. Vanessa is married now to a man named Juan Villalonga, the ex-CEO of Telefónica – Spain’s multinational telecoms company. Telefónica is so powerful in Spain that it’s nicknamed the 13th Ministry, the Ministry of Information.

The couple, Juan and Vanessa, are like family to Corinna, and Juan is exactly the kind of guy you’d want around in a crisis. He’s weathered problems of his own – like when El Mundo accused him of insider trading and he was forced to resign, even though he was eventually cleared of the charges. 

CORINNA (33:16): 

Very familiar with the way the Spanish establishment moves against people. And he’d always been a voice of reason. He’d always, whenever I was really worried, would say, “Calm down. They’ll be a lot of noise in the press and then nothing’s going to happen. Just don’t worry. Don’t react.” So he was always someone who at least I could talk to who could understand what most people outside of Spain would have never been able to grasp.

MISHEL (33:43): 

So when Corinna gets a call from Juan, saying he needs to speak with her urgently, Corinna doesn’t hesitate. His usually unshakeable demeanor sounds… off. 

CORINNA (33:56): 

We meet for coffee in Monaco, and he says that he’s been made aware of plans to falsely implicate me in another criminal investigation. 

MISHEL (34:05): 

Panic by now is a familiar feeling to Corinna – the sudden rush of nausea, the prickles of sweat on her neck. She looks at Juan, searching his face for answers.

CORINNA (34:17): 

So when Juan told me there was a very dangerous plot involving me in serious financial crime, I had to listen carefully. 

MISHEL (34:26): 

He tells her, “There’s someone you need to meet.” “This man,” Juan says, “has the evidence to prove you’re being framed.”

CORINNA (34:36): 

He said that this was a person who was basically fighting against the corruption and the unethical activities of the CNI and in particular, of General Sanz Roldán.

MISHEL (34:46): 

His name is Jose Manuel Villarejo, Spain’s former police commissioner. 

CORINNA (34:54): 

He was conducting a secret investigation, something akin to internal affairs, investigating abuse of power by certain individuals in the Spanish Secret Service, namely General Sanz Roldán.

MISHEL (35:08): 

She’s never heard of Villarejo. She searches Villalonga’s eyes for answers.

CORINNA (35:13): 

I asked Juan many times whether he really trusted this person. And he said he absolutely trusted him.

MISHEL (35:19): 

She has to take his word for it. She’s desperate. She needs allies. And maybe with the help of Jose Manuel Villarejo, Corinna can blow this whole thing open.

CORINNA (35:33): 

At some point, who do you trust when you are already in such a dire situation?There are very few people still left you can trust. 

MISHEL (35:43): 

In our next episode of Corinna and the King… 


I had been told that she was trying to take advantage of economic situations, that she was a sort of vampire. 

CORINNA (35:59): 

I thought we were having an off-the-record conversation because he was running this internal affairs investigation


They tried to artificially castrate him so he would stop having intercourse with Ms. Larsen.  

CORINNA (36:14): 

I couldn’t understand why he would leak these recordings, who had really leaked these recordings. Had they tampered with the recordings?A level of deception that is greater than anything you could ever imagine.

MISHEL (36:32):

Corinna and the King is a production of Project Brazen in partnership with PRX. 

It’s hosted by me, Mishel Prada. Bradley Hope and Tom Wright are executive producers. Sandy Smallens is the executive producer for Audiation. Núria Net and Alex García Amat are executive producers for La Coctelera Music. Mark Lotto and Jimena Marcos are the story editors for the series. Alex García Amat is the sound design supervisor and composer. Mariángel Gonzales is senior producer. Farah Halime Hope is lead scriptwriter. Megan Dean and Soobin Kim are scriptwriters and associate producers. Ana González is a reporter for the project. Ireland Meacham is producer and Selena Seay-Reynolds is production coordinator. Francesca Gilardi Quadrio Curzio is associate producer. Lucy Woods is associate producer and head of research. Daniel Durán is editor for the English and Spanish versions, as well as sound designer. Matt Noble is editor for the English version. Matt Bentley-Viney is recordist. Joan Alonso is assistant editor. Ryan Ho is the creative director for the project. Andrija Klaric is video editor and designer. Laura Gómez is the host of the Spanish version. Translations by Paloma García Cruz. The voice actors are Eva Magaña, Ana Clements, Francine Belanger, Alex Marrero, Luis Alberto Casado, Antonio Soto Patiño and José María del Río. Additional music arranged and performed by José de Lucía with vocals by Adriana López “La Pimienta.” 

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