London: Ex-member of Swedish pop group ABBA, Anni-Frid Reuss, has been unsuccessful in reclaiming back 4.5 million pounds she claims to have lent to a Buddhist temple.
Reuss, 65, was pitted against her former Buddhist teacher, when she brought a bankruptcy order against the company that owned the Yangtorp Qiqong Resort, near Hornby.
But a court in the Swedish city of Malmo rejected the claim, which the singer and her English boyfriend and business partner Henry Smith, 54, who is heir to the WH Smith fortune, had filed.
The reason was that Smith’s lawyer had been unable to present written evidence that he “rightfully acquired” three unpaid bills from local contractors working on the temple.
Marcus Bongart, the Polish-born owner and manager of the resort, argued that the 4.5 million pounds was in fact a donation to help fund the building of the temple and healing centre.
Bongart, who taught Reuss the ancient Chinese medical philosophy of Qigong, has been building the temple, which offers meditation courses and acupuncture, for the past 12 years.
Describing her as an “old friend” he said that she had been a frequent visitor to the centre.
“We’ve had disagreements over how to develop the temple, but that is all that happened,” the Telegraph quoted Bongart as saying in an interview.
“The money is not there to be paid back, it is invested in the buildings,” he stated.
Besides not being able to reclaim her money, the court also ruled that she had to pay costs of 15,000 pounds.
But despite the rejection of the bankruptcy order, the court nonetheless ruled that the claim on the 4.5 million pounds is in dispute.
Reuss and Smith have said they would fight on to prove that the money was lent, not given.
“It looks like there will be a trial to show that Bongart did indeed borrow the money. We’ll have to call witnesses,” Carl-Gustaf Soder, Reuss’s lawyer, added.