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Corinna and The King

Author: Brazen

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Corinna and the King is the unbelievable true story of a love affair that brought the Spanish royal family to its knees. When Corinna, a worldly and well-connected businesswoman, fell in love with Juan Carlos I, the king of Spain, he seemed too big to fail. Their secret romance stretched across continents, but its unraveling would open a window into a dangerous world of greed, corruption, and crime. Vast pools of hidden wealth; international espionage and conspiracy; scandal, elephant hunting, and unstoppable lust… all tracing back to one of the most secretive royalties in the world.

This is Corinna and the King, a co-production by Brazen, PRX and La Coctelera Music. Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.

Corinna and the King is a Project Brazen production. For more fearless storytelling, search for the Brazen channel on Apple Podcasts or visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.

Don’t stay in the dark. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes for Corinna and the King and all our shows, as well as ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For the latest from Brazen delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletters at brazen.fm/newsletters.
12 Episodes
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Brought to you by Project Brazen and PRX, and narrated by “Vida” and “Riverdale” star Mishel Prada, this is Corinna and the King, out now. When Corinna, a worldly and well-connected businesswoman, fell in love with Juan Carlos I, the King of Spain, he seemed too big to fail. Their secret romance stretched across continents, but its unraveling would open a window into a dangerous world of greed, corruption, and crime. Vast pools of hidden wealth; international espionage and conspiracy; scandal, elephant hunting, and unstoppable lust… all tracing back to one of the most secretive royal families in the world. To find out more, visit www.corinnaandtheking.com Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts.  For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.
It’s February 2004, and 39-year-old businesswoman Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein attends an aristocratic hunting party in the Spanish countryside. The host? Juan Carlos I, the king of Spain. An expert in guns, Corinna catches the king’s attention, and he later invites her for lunch at the Madrid hunting lodge Corinna would come to call their casita. The king makes his intentions clear — he might be married, but he wants to be more than friends. Soon after, hundreds of hand-written letters and bouquets of flowers arrive at Corinna’s door. But as her romance with Juan Carlos intensifies, she discovers a darker side to the palace, hidden from the public. Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds. Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.
Juan Carlos became a national hero when he saved Spain’s fledgling democracy, but who was he before that? During weekends at the casita, Corinna asks the king about his troubled past, from the tragic death of his younger brother to his upbringing under the thumb of a brutal dictator — Francisco Franco. But she soon sees that those days are behind him. Now Juan Carlos is dripping in wealth, coming back from overseas trips with suitcases full of cash. Where the money goes is another question, because once the king has his hands on it, he has a talent for making it disappear. Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds. Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.
Corinna’s days with Juan Carlos are a stream of highs and lows, roses and thorns. An invitation to the palace ends in a face-off with the queen, and when she joins the king on an official trip to Saudi Arabia, Corinna is shunted to the sidelines. Despite it all, the over-the-top romantic gestures don’t stop, and her growing influence on the king makes her some powerful enemies. The chief of Spain’s secret service has a word of warning for Juan Carlos about Corinna’s sway at the palace — but nobody’s warning Corinna about what’s headed her way. Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds. Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.
Corinna decides to stay friends with Juan Carlos, who wants to take them on a safari trip to Botswana for her son’s tenth birthday. But she soon finds out the trip is for Juan Carlos himself, and he’s brought boxes of wine for his own amusement. After a night of heavy drinking, the king trips and falls, critically injuring himself, and the group is forced to make an emergency exit. They land in Madrid, unaware that the news has leaked and a media storm awaits. Juan Carlos makes a pithy apology to the Spanish people, hoping the scandal will blow over. But for Corinna, the nightmare is just getting started. Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds. Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.
After the Botswana disaster, Corinna gets an uncomfortable visit from the new chief of Spain’s secret service, General Felix Sanz Roldan. He’s making requests, except they’re more like threats. But Juan Carlos is apologetic and gives Corinna a suspicious gift. Soon after, Corinna is implicated in a corruption scandal involving the king’s son-in-law. Corinna tries to clear her name, but the palace responds with a vicious media campaign, bruising Corinna’s reputation and sinking her business. Meanwhile, Juan Carlos, increasingly alienated from his family, wants to rekindle his relationship with Corinna. Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds. Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.
Corinna brushes off Juan Carlos’ proposal. But Juan Carlos, now the former king of Spain, requests access to the gift. His lawyer frantically stops him, as the gift is undeclared and would get him in legal trouble. Rebuffed several times on multiple fronts, Juan Carlos unleashes another litany of lies about her to the media and his friends in the Middle East, discrediting Corinna globally. She’s at her lowest when her shrinking circle of trusted friends tells her there’s someone who might be able to help — a man named José Manuel Villarejo. Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds. Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.
Seeing the huge pools of money held by the former king through hangers-on, Corinna cuts all contact with Juan Carlos. Corinna also finds out that Villarejo, who appeared to be on her side, has been secretly recording their meetings and has leaked the recording. To make matters worse, Juan Carlos does everything in his power to make her family turn against her. Corinna finally comes face to face with Juan Carlos for the first time in years over lunch at her place. At the end of the lunch, Corinna decides to take Juan Carlos to court in London. Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds. Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.
After his fall from grace, Juan Carlos retires from public life to Abu Dhabi. Corinna finds herself mired in investigations in multiple jurisdictions, where her bank accounts are closed one by one. When a freezing order descends on her US bank account, Corinna hires a former FBI agent to cooperate with US law enforcement rather than fight it. As she tries to prove her innocence, Corinna is secretly photographed in a restaurant and splashed across the Spanish media again. Fast forward to 2022 — the case continues, and Juan Carlos clings to state immunity to dodge Corinna’s allegations. Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds. Este podcast también está disponible en español. Para escuchar, busca Corinna y el Rey en tu plataforma de podcasts favorita.
In this bonus episode, we share an exclusive interview with the hosts of Corinna And The King – Mishel Prada, who narrated the series in English, and Laura Gómez, in Spanish. In conversation, they reveal their thoughts on Corinna and King Juan Carlos, how they approached the narration, and what it was like to tell this unbelievable true story of corruption and love gone wrong at the heart of the Spanish royal family. Thanks for listening. To hear the shocking details of this podcast for yourself, listen to the full series right now by subscribing to Corinna And The King, wherever you get your podcasts. Or, if you’d like to listen in Spanish, subscribe to Corinna y El Rey. Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.
In this bonus episode of Corinna and the King, we invite you to discover the amazing original soundtrack for the series. This ambitious symphonic, cinematic and experimental musical work included the recording of more than 65 original tracks, in a process that ran right up until the release of the final episode of the series. Alex García Amat, the composer and an executive producer for the series, explains why and how this soundtrack was made for this podcast in its English and Spanish versions. We'll learn about the creative process and listen to some of the tracks, as well as the first demos and the evolution of some of the songs. It’s a moving, detailed musical journey that takes us from the circus to magical realism; from light and fragility to darkness and threat. A movie soundtrack for a podcast. Corinna and The King is a Project Brazen production. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and get exclusive bonus episodes, ad-free listening and early access to new podcasts. For more fearless storytelling visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.
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