Skip to comments.Ex-wife's revenge on Saudi King
Posted on 06/13/2005 10:37:58 PM PDT by MadIvan
FEW have penetrated the closed world of Saudi Arabias ruling family, with its enormous wealth, the lavish lifestyles of its princes and their private passions. Those who do know the truth about King Fahd and his family the wives, mistresses and advisers are usually well rewarded to hold their tongues.
But a ruling by a senior High Court judge has opened the door to the House of Saud and will allow a rare glimpse inside. Later this year at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, the bitter dispute between King Fahd, 82, and one of his wives, will be aired in public.
It will be an unprecedented hearing, keenly awaited by observers of the kingdom and its absolute rulers. The woman who threatens to expose the ruling familys inner workings is Janan George Harb, 57.
Mrs Harb, who under Islamic tradition kept her own name after her marriage, is suing the King for increased maintenance from his £32 billion fortune. She says she needs the money to maintain a suitable lifestyle at her Knightsbridge home. She has lived in London for much of the past 30 years and is now a British citizen.
Mrs Harb has pursued her claim despite attempts by the kings lawyers to keep the case out of the public eye. Previous High Court hearings were cloaked in secrecy and were listed simply as Maple v Maple.
Mrs Harbs claim is believed to be the first of its kind for a family which regards those who challenge its secrecy as traitors and outcasts. I dont know of a single case where anyone has sued the Royal Family for maintenance, I dont think it has ever happened, said Said Aburish, an expert on the Fahd family.
In March 2001 the Kings lawyers agreed to pay Mrs Harb a very substantial sum on condition that she entered into a binding agreement to reveal nothing of their relationship. Precise details of the maintenance settlement and Mrs Harbs demands for more money remain unclear but wives of the Saudi royals are known to lead opulent lifestyles.
King Fahd is said to have seven palaces in Saudi Arabia, a chateau on the French Riviera, a private Boeing 747 and two liner-sized yachts.
Under Islamic law, men may take four wives. King Fahds father is understood to have had 145 wives during his lifetime and dozens of children. His son has been married fewer times but the frequency of Saudi royal marriages makes it difficult to estimate his total number of wives and ex-wives.
Mr Aburish said: There are probably only three or four people in the world who know how many times King Fahd has been married. According to a leading Arabic academic, who did not wish to be named, the wives usually each take a private residence in Saudi Arabia and are habitual travellers.
The family has mansions all over the world and a wife visiting different homes travels with her own entourage, including security guards. Mrs Harb is understood to have been shunned by the household over her Palestinian origins and Christian beliefs.
At previous hearings the King had successfully argued that as a head of state he had sovereign immunity. Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, then President of the Family Division, upheld his argument in December last year. But Lord Justice Thorpe has ruled that Mrs Harbs claim must be held in open court.
The judge said: I see no legitimate ground for imposing reporting restrictions that would thinly disguise the identity of the sovereign. The identity of the sovereign seems to me to be relevant to any public debate of the issues raised by the plea of immunity.
KING FAHD FACTS
Sheesh. Just one wife is gonna be the death of me.
The Abdul Aziz
The largest yacht ever built at a staggering 482 feet, the Abdul Aziz is the personal yacht of the Saudi King Fahd. In 1984 it cost $109 million to build.
For security reasons, information about the yacht's amenities is scarce, but we do know that the Abdul Aziz features 60 guest rooms, two swimming pools, a hospital, an intensive care unit, a gym, a sauna, hand-carved marble baths andfor security reasonsStinger surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles.
The yacht is docked in Antibes, in the basin of Grand Plaisance, and she's easy to spot: Just look for the boat with the helicopter parked on her bow.
With all the multiple wives and children through the years the whole damn country must be related.
And the West does not have husbands in the classical sense, the wife can leave the husband at anytime and take with the kids, the house, all the property, bank accounts and make the husband a financial slave, through child-support and alimony, for the rest of the ex-husband's life.
And no, I am NOT being sarcastic.
But then 145 wives equals quite a sizeable chunk of change in alimony. Perhaps he shouldn't have, erm, pitched a tent under his kaftan quite so frequently! ;-)
Her last name is Harb? I thought "Harb" in Arabic meant "war," as in dar al-harb, "the abode of war."
For some reason, what the feminist have accomplished here in this country, is evil, immoral and goes contrary to the will of God and the Bible.
Didn't King Fahd die recently?
Things that make you go hmmmm.....
I noticed that too.
No offense to anyone, but this woman seems to be a gold digger.
From what I got in the article, she had already received a large sum of money to keep her mouth quiet.
Also, there seemed to have been some indication that she holds "Christian" beliefs. Really? Then why did she marry a Muslim?
I've always said inbreeding is what makes them all so crazy.
This dude doesn't have to go to Heaven to get his 72 virgins.
An Air Force comrde of mine was flying supplies into Somalia when the plane had an in flight emergency and they diverted to Egypt. Stuck there for a few days, he went to see the sights. While on a tour to Giza, he began discussing Islam with the tour guide, because he had never met a Muslim before. He asked the guy how ,many wives he had, and the guy says, "One wife! One wife! Any man has more than one wife is CRAZY MAN!"
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