“None of the claims about the King’s visits to criminal strip or off-the-books clubs or other activities that would have compromised his role are true,” Desirée Ahokas Shein, co-author of a new book debunking “Carl XVI Gustaf – Den motvillige monarken” (‘Carl XVI Gustaf – The reluctant monarch’), wrote in an opinion piece in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.
Ahokas Shein, along with historian Dick Harrison, have spent the last two years reviewing claims made in the 2010 book, which rocked the Royal Court and prompted a prolonged debate about the position of the King and the monarchy in Sweden.
“The reluctant monarch” included passages detailing alleged marital infidelities, visits to strip clubs, as well as several occasions during which the King was said to have socialized with reputed gangsters.
However, Harisson and Ahokas Shein claim in “Från en säker källa. . .” (‘From a reliable source…’), a forthcoming book to be published on Thursday, that the evidence on which much of the tell-all book is based comes from “manipulated evidence, outright lies, and extremely dubious methods”.
One example the authors examine more closely is a reported visit by the King to the Gold Club, a strip club in Atlanta, during the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Ahokas Shein writes that the rumoured visit was first referenced in a 2000 trial of the club’s owner during which defence lawyers explained the club had many celebrity visitors, including the Swedish King.
However, the waitress who allegedly served the King drinks may not have even been employed at the Gold Club at the time of the King’s supposed visit. Moreover, the authors cast further doubt on the waitress’s account, claiming “she was willing to say just about anything for a price”.
In addition to slamming “The reluctant monarch”, Ahokas Shein also takes the Swedish media to task for failing to accurately investigate the book’s claims and instead rushing to perpetuate a royal scandal “based on claims which are simply not true”.
“It’s remarkable that a little effort wasn’t made to check the veracity of the information [in the book] by those who then spread it further,” she writes in DN.
“The media industry hasn’t even managed to discuss or assess how they did their job when it comes to the so-called royal scandal. It’s high time they did so.”