EXCLUSIVE: Trailer released for film about the ‘secret lives’ of Saudi royals


'The Sins of King Fahd' will include claims that the late Saudi ruler gambled and was addicted to drugs based on claims by his 'secret wife'

Janan Harb leaving court during a court battle with the son of her late husband (Twitter)
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Last update: 
Monday 18 July 2016 14:00 UTC

The trailer for a new film about the life of the late Saudi king Fahd bin Abdulaziz al-Saud has been released and includes salacious allegations of drug-taking, gambling, and forced abortions.

The Sins of King Fahd does not yet have a release date, but a three-minute teaser of the film was posted to YouTube on Friday.

The clip shows scenes portraying King Fahd injecting drugs and gambling in London, as well as upsetting images of a forced abortion carried out on a woman who says she was the Saudi leader’s secret wife.

The film is based on Janan Harb’s soon to be released autobiography The Saudi King and I, which narrates her life as a young Palestinian-born Christian who fled home as a teenager and ended up in Saudi Arabia, where she says she met, courted, and eventually married King Fahd.

Last year Harb won a £20 mn ($26.4m) settlement from one of King Fahd’s sons. However, in June a London court ordered a retrial to reassess whether Harb is entitled to £12 million and two luxury properties in Chelsea.

Harb, 68, lives in London and is a Scientologist. She claims that as a 19-year-old she married the “dashing and immensely powerful” Fahd, who at the time was Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and first in line to the throne.

Harb says that in 1970 she was forced to flee the kingdom at two hours' notice because the royal family – including the present monarch, King Salman – did not like her.

A photo from Harb's Twitter shows her with Fahd bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (Twitter)

Itasca Films’ Malcolm Walker and media consultant Damien McCrystal are producing the film based on Harb’s account of Fahd’s life.

The film will include scenes of Fahd gambling and injecting drugs in London’s Clermont Club and will feature King Salman, who Harb claims was known as the “butcher of Riyadh” for his brutal governorship of the capital province.

“We know that there is a strong appetite for the story in Western countries, due to the media response to Janan’s court battles,” McCrystal said in a statement sent to MEE. “We also know that there is great interest in the story within Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries.

“[We] believe that most of the Muslim world is fascinated by the Saudi royal family - particularly by Fahd, who although greatly loved was also somewhat contradictory in his public denunciation of the West but [had a] private love of parties and gambling in London and elsewhere.” 

Saudi Arabia is renowned for being a deeply conservative Muslim country, where alcohol and gambling are banned and women are not allowed to drive. Harb’s controversial claims will likely cause much debate in the kingdom, where Fahd was widely adored during his reign between 1982 and 2005.