Swedish King flatly denies improprieties as scandal grows

Carl XVI Gustaf has rejected reports that he visited strip clubs and even had indirect contact with organised crime.

Stockholm: Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf
gave a rare interview, in an attempt to quash a swelling scandal, flatly rejecting media reports he had visited strip clubs and even had indirect contact with organised crime.

In a long interview with the TT news agency published
late yesterday, Sweden`s head of state denied recent reported
claims from a former mafia member, Mille Markovic, that he had
pictures in his possession showing the king in a sex club in
the same shot as two naked women.

"No, it is impossible that they exist," the king
insisted, stressing that "it is also difficult to comment on
something one has not seen and no one else has seen either."

The royal court has demanded that public broadcaster
TV4, which in a report two weeks ago about the alleged
pictures said a journalist had seen them, show the shots to
prove there is any substance to the claims.

The TV4 report and a new book about another shady
figure from Sweden`s underworld, alleged friends of the king
had been willing to pay large sums of money to block the
publication of pictures of the monarch in compromising

One of the king`s childhood friends, Ander Lettstroem,
admitted in a statement last week he had contacted people
involved with organised crime, but insisted it was purely his
own initiative and had nothing to do with Carl XVI Gustaf.

In Monday`s interview, the king reiterated a previous
statement that he had no knowledge of Lettstroem`s actions and
had nothing to do with his confession.

He admitted the scandal had "of course hurt confidence
in me, and even confidence in the monarchy and also Sweden."

The latest scandal comes just over six months after a
tell-all biography of the king hit the bookstands, causing
uproar with its descriptions of his participation in wild
parties and affairs with young women.

The allegations also come shortly after the royal
court announced the king`s wife, German-born Queen Silvia, had
launched a probe into her father`s Nazi past.


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