Former Qatari princess Kasia Gallanio found dead at her home in Marbella

The deceased, who used to be married to a member of the royal family of Qatar, was found in the house after one of her daughters in Paris raised the alarm

Kasia Gallanio in a file image.
Kasia Gallanio in a file image.

Kasia Gallanio, the ex-wife of Abdelaziz bin Khalifa Al-Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, was found dead last Sunday at her home in Marbella in southern Spain. The 45-year-old was discovered after one of her three daughters contacted the Spanish police from Paris and warned that she had not been able to contact her mother for days, according to the French newspaper Le Parisien and confirmed by police sources.

The former Qatari princess – who had dual US and Polish citizenship – was living at an apartment complex called Playas del Duque in the upscale area of Puerto Banús in Spain’s Málaga province. According to police sources, the doorman of this complex allowed several police officers to enter Gallanio’s home on Sunday morning. When the agents entered, they found the woman dead on a bed, with no signs of violence. Authorities believe she may have died from an overdose, but are still awaiting the results of the autopsy, according to Le Parisien, which first reported on the death. Action was taken after the daughter, a minor and French resident, warned that her mother was not answering her calls.

The building in Puerto Banús, where Kasia Gallanio was found dead.
The building in Puerto Banús, where Kasia Gallanio was found dead.Carlos Diaz Martin (EFE)

Gallanio’s divorce from Sheikh Al-Thani in 2012 sparked a high-profile legal battle over the custody of their three underage daughters – a dispute that has still not been resolved. According to the French newspaper, the 45-year-old suffered from mental health issues and was hospitalized for several months last year. In view of this, a Paris court in May decided to defer a verdict on the case until Galliano was subject to a psychological evaluation.

The case has also been rocked by allegations of sexual abuse. According to Le Parisien, one of the couple’s daughters said in mid-April that her father sexually assaulted her when she was between the ages of nine and 15 – allegations denied by the sheik, who is the uncle of Qatari’s current emir. The statements prompted the Paris Prosecutor’s Office to open an investigation for aggravated sexual assault. “My client was devastated by this decision. I think that, above all, she has died of grief,” Gallanio’s lawyer, Sabrina Boesch, told the French newspaper.

Boesch traveled to Spain with Gallanio’s two eldest daughters, who identified her body on Monday. According to the lawyer, the 73-year-old sheik has not spoken to his children and is only covering the expenses of “modest hotels or short-term accommodation.” The youngest of the sisters, aged 15, has remained at home, a 5,000-square meter palace on the upmarket Avenue Montaigne in Paris. According to Le Parisien, the teen does not go to school and is “isolated from the world.”

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