Ex-Wife Of Qatari Prince Found Dead Amid Dramatic Custody Battle
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A former Qatari princess has been found dead in her Marbella home.
Kasia Gallanio was the 45-year-old ex-wife of 73-year-old Abzerlaziz bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the uncle of the Emir of Qatar.
One of her daughters contacted police after she was unable to get in touch with her mother for a number of days.
At the time of her passing, Gallanio was embroiled in a custody battle with her ex-husband over her three daughters.
Sheikh Al-Thani has previously accused of of being an alcoholic with mental health issues.
Spanish police officers arrived at the Playas del Duque apartment complex in Puerto Banús, Mallorca – where Gallanio had been staying – on Sunday morning (29 May) at around 8am.
Upon entering her room, they found the 45-year-old having passed away in bed.
There were no signs of violence reported, according to Le Parisien.
An autopsy was scheduled by Spanish police, and is reported as having taken place yesterday (31 May).
So far, a possible cause of death being investigated is a drug overdose.
However, one of Gallanio's friends, Louis Spagnuolo, told Olive Press, the 45-year-old was 'dead against drugs'.
They said: "I knew her very very well and am devastated at the news. She was a very good person and those who knew her loved her.
"She loved her daughters beyond belief and would never leave them. She was dead against drugs and was never an alcoholic."
The custody battle first began in 2012 when Gallanio and Sheikh Al-Thani first split.
However, Gallanio's argument amid the custody battle was dismissed by a Paris court on 19 May due to her being 'prone to nervous breakdowns and detoxification cures' and having been in hospital for a few months from November.
A psychological evaluation of Gallanio was requested by a judge, who reportedly explained they wanted a better grasp of the family situation.
In an interview with Women's World, Gallanio said her daughter's father 'cut contact with [two of] them as punishment' when they came to live with her.
She said: "The little one is not allowed to talk to me which makes me extremely sad because she gets a lot of material things from her father so it's almost like manipulation and blackmail.
"It's like a part of my body is missing."
As per the French newspaper, the custody battle was also 'in a context of accusations of incestuous sexual touching'.
Sheikh Al-Thani was accused by one of the pair's daughters of sexual assault in a court hearing in April.
According to one of the couple's daughters, he had sexually assaulted her over the course of six years, when she was between the ages of nine and 15 years old.
Representatives of Sheikh Al-Thani have denied the accusations.
However, an investigation into the allegations of aggravated sexual assault has been opened by the Paris Public Prosecutor's Office.
Gallanio's lawyer, Sabrina Boesch, had to identify the 45-year-old mother's body on Monday (30 May).
She said: "My client was devastated by this decision. I think that, above all, she has died of grief."
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677
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