Expatica news

Royal couple denies lying about mafia boss affair

20 April 2004

AMSTERDAM — Planning to marry on Saturday without the Dutch Parliament’s approval, Prince Johan Friso and his fiancee, Mabel Wisse Smit, have denied they lied about Mabel’s former relationship with drugs baron Klaas Bruinsma.

But the royal couple admitted they should have immediately revealed the full details of the contact Mabel had with Bruinsma. Instead, Prince Friso had advised Mabel to only tell “the important facts” to the Dutch government.

In a televised interview with royal journalists Maartje van Weegen and Paul Witteman on public broadcaster NOS on Monday night, Mabel denied again that she had a love affair with Bruinsma, who was shot and killed in Amsterdam in 1991.

Mabel dismissed claims by a former Bruinsma bodyguard, Charlie da Silva, that she had been the drugs baron’s lover — claims which rapidly led to a media barrage discrediting the couple last year — and said they were “unbelievable nonsense”.

“I thought no one is going to believe this,” she said.

Mabel told Friso in 2000 about her contact with Bruinsma, claiming that it was a friendship that lasted just several months. Friso said the friendship was formed 15 years ago when Mabel was a young girl, naïve and that the relationship had never been extraordinary. 

Mabel had been open to him about the matter and he did not think any problems would arise. He did not consider it necessary to immediately tell his mother, Queen Beatrix — who later had difficulty with the scandal, but had given enormous support, news agency ANP reported.

Despite the fact that the third-in-line Prince Friso will renounce his rights to the Dutch throne by marrying Mabel, the couple denied that a shadow had been thrown over their marriage — scheduled for this coming Saturday in Delft.

After Mabel admitted to Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende in October 2003 she had withheld the full extent of her relationship with Bruinsma, the prime minister decided against requesting Parliament’s approval of the marriage. Such permission is necessary for Prince Friso to retain his rights of succession.

The Prince admitted on Monday he had grown up with the thought that he would always be in line for the throne, but had to swallow the fact that this was no longer the case, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.

And Mabel said the only shadow that was hanging over their wedding was the absence of three fathers. She was referring to Prince Friso’s father, the deceased Prince Claus, and to her deceased father and step-father.

Friso suggsted the Royal House had roots so deeply embedded in Dutch society that the controversy surrounding his marriage to Mabel had not inflicted permanent damage on the royal institute.

He accused the media of “plainly scandalous” behaviour in its reporting of the affair, claiming that the simplest of facts were not checked and that the various media organisations discussed the matter with each other.

For her part, Mabel remembers the time as being extremely painful for her family. “Everyone was suddenly a Mabel expert. It was a hurricane the came over me from which it was difficult to keep a foothold,” she said.

Dealing with other matters, Prince Friso said it was an awkward moment when the Government Information Service (RVD) publicly stated several years ago that he was not homosexual. He said the decision to issue the statement was taken after the serious press began giving credence to rumours alleging that he was gay.

Friso also took the interview as an opportunity to set straight other misunderstandings and denied he shirked from the annual Queen’s Day celebrations. Instead, the prince said he looked forward to the event.

Mabel was quizzed by Witteman over her preference for powerful men. She answered by saying she was in love with Friso and that it was incidental that he was a prince.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news + Prince Johan Friso and Mabel