King's friend: 'I lied to gangsters out of fear'
TT/Rebecca Martin · 8 Dec 2011, 11:10
Published: 08 Dec 2011 11:10 GMT+01:00
- Swedes lose faith in the King: poll (07 Dec 11)
- King knew of gangster meetups: Lettström (03 Dec 11)
- Alleged King pics to be released: ex-gangster (01 Jun 11)
“It has been said that I have acted on the behalf of the King – that’s not true. I acted on my own initiative and on my own,” he wrote in an opinion piece in daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) on Thursday.
According to Lettström, the King was neither informed nor involved.
Lettström described in DN the attempts to find out who was behind the, according to him, false claims of the book "Carl XVI Gustaf - den motvillige monarken" ("Carl XVI Gustaf - the reluctant monarch"), which was published last November.
The book, he claims, was the start of his contacts with Sweden’s criminal underworld.
On Lettström's initiative, Daniel Webb, acting for well-known criminal Milan Sevo, tried to get strip club owner Mille Markovic to deny the information published in the scandalous book about the Swedish king.
In the article, Lettström wrote that he regrets today that the fervor with which he tried to clear his name led to the current situation.
In an interview with news agency TT in May, the King vehemently denied all knowledge of contacts with criminals.
However, it was caught on tape how Lettström told Webb that he had spoken to the King.
In the article, Lettström explains his actions by claiming that the criminals were putting pressure on him and those close to him, putting him in an "impossible" situation.
He also mentions financial pressure.
“Sometimes I told them what I thought they’d like to hear, which wasn’t always the truth. I was under severe pressure and tried to find a way to phase out the unfortunate contacts to not risk the safety of my family,” Lettström wrote.
According to Lettström, it was the pummeling he took in the press that partly led to his attempts to make contact with the criminals.
The fact that he, like the Royal Court, chose at first not to comment on the “gossip” when the book was published led to “unchallenged lies about me were transformed into truth in the world of the media”, he wrote.
Lettström also likened the actions of the Swedish press after the King’s unauthorized biography was published to the wire-tapping scandal that recently rocked Britain and does not rule out that something similar is going on in Sweden.
“Where is the journalistic integrity, where is sense and reason?” Lettström asked in DN.