By Staff writer
Movie is early stages of production and is said to portray a negative viewpoint of life in the Gulf kingdom
A Palestinian-born British socialite, who claimed to be the ‘secret wife’ of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and last year won a $30 million claim in the High Court in London against a son of the late monarch, is making a film about her life inside Saudi royal society.
Janan Harb’s story is to be turned into a film by British director Malcolm Walker, who has worked on high profile films such as Kirsten Dunst’s romantic comedy ‘Wimbledon’. The film, which is currently in the early stages of production, will be called ‘The Weaknesses of King Fahd’ and is believed to depict a negative view of the late monarch and Saudi royal life.
The news of the production was confirmed on Harb’s official Twitter account this week.
Late last year, Prince Abdul Aziz, the son of the late king, was sued for a total of $30 million, by Harb who claims she secretly married King Fahd when he was still a prince in 1968 and she was 19-years-old.
Harb claimed King Fahd repeatedly promised "to look after me and maintain me for the rest of my life" and in 2003 his son Prince Abdul Aziz, born to another of King Fahd's other wives, agreed to honour the promise by giving her £15 million and two apartments in central London valued at £5 million.
Born to a Christian Palestinian family, Harb, who now has British citizenship, said she brought legal action because she had not received the money or the properties.
The judge in the case, Justice Peter Smith, said Harb had "a lavish, high-maintenance lifestyle" and had clearly received payments in the past "to buy her silence in respect of her relationship with the late king".
Harb said the prince, in a meeting in the Dorchester in 2003, agreed to pay her £12 million and transfer back to her two flats in Pier House, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London, to keep his father's promise of lifelong financial support. The prince, in written statements to the court, denied this claim.
Lawyers for the prince had argued he had “state immunity” and the court had no jurisdiction to try Harb’s claim. But the court earlier ruled the king's immunity ceased when he died in 2005 as he was no longer the head of state.
At a previous hearing of the case, the prince failed to attend the High Court to give verbal evidence, claiming he was forbidden by the Saudi Royal Court from attending to avoid a “media circus”.
He was fined and ordered to pay £25,000 ($39,000) to charity for contempt of court.
The judge said the best way to decide on the case was to hear oral evidence from the prince and be cross-examined, as Harb had done. But when he failed to appear, the judge said it "severely handicapped - fatally so in my view" the attempt by his QC, Ian Mill, to put his case.
Following the ruling, Harb said: "This has been 12 years of misery for me. I am very happy with British justice. Thank God we have British justice. The prince wanted me to go to Saudi Arabia where he would have had power over all this. I am very relieved. I only wish he could have honoured his father's wishes... he is being very mean."