A wife of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, fled to London and reportedly feared for his life after discovering "disturbing facts" about the death of his stepdaughter last year.
Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein, 45, is the sixth wife of the 69-year-old leader of Dubai, whom he married in 2004 to become his "minor wife".
She is the daughter of the former king of Jordan and half-sister of King Abdullah, as well as an Olympic athlete with a passion for horses who first represented his age of 13.
She is now holed up in a £ 85 million ($ 152 million) villa in London with her two children aged 7 and 11, in preparation for a legal battle in the UK court.
Sources close to Princess Haya told the British media that they had been forced to leave Dubai and discovered "disturbing facts" about the death of Princess Latifa, 33, one of Sheikh Mohammed's daughters who had fled Dubai last year to be returned months after.
In that mysterious and controversial case, the young princess Latifa would have fled the country after enlisting with the help of a former French spy, Herve Jaubert. He published a video that stated "it could be the last video I make".
"If you're watching this video … or I'm dead or in a very, very bad situation," he said from a dark room in an unidentifiable position. "My father is only interested in his reputation."
She was later traced on a boat off the coast of India and returned to Dubai. The authorities claimed to be "happy" and "safe" after being returned, but Mr. Jaubert claimed to be traced by special forces and was returned against his will.
Sources close to Princess Haya he told the BBC she "feared for her life" and worried that it could be "surrendered" to Dubai from London.
Reportedly, Sheikh Mohammad published a poem on Instagram that accused an unidentified woman of "betrayal and treason", reports the BBC. He has not publicly commented on the matter.
Even the Dubai authorities have remained tight-lipped, claiming that the problem is for individuals. There are fears that it could lead to a diplomatic stoush and attract the British royals, given that both Princess Haya and the sheikh are close to the queen, given their common love for horse racing.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and Dubai. He has 23 children from different wives.
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