Kasia Gallanio, 45, was locked in a decade-long custody battle over her daughters (Picture Kasia Gallanio/Instagram)
The ex-wife of a senior member of Qatar’s royal family has been found dead at her home in Marbella, southern Spain.
Kasia Gallanio, 45, was discovered on Sunday morning, with initial evidence pointing towards a potential drug overdose, French newspaper Le Parisien reports.
Ms Gallanio, who is of American and Polish origin, was the third wife of Abdelaziz bin Khalifa Al-Thani, 73, the uncle of the Emir of Qatar.
The pair had been locked in a decade-long custody battle over their three daughters in which she accused him of molesting one of the girls.
They met in Paris, where Mr Al-Thani, a former Qatari oil minister and finance minister whose father ruled the Gulf state for 23 years, had moved in 1995 after being exiled during a coup which saw his half-brother take the throne.
According to French media reports, he has led a reclusive life of luxury in a 5000-square metre mansion in the ultra-exclusive 8th Arrondissement district near the Champs-Élysées.
The pair married in 2004 and soon welcomed twins, now aged 17, and a third daughter who is now 15, before divorcing in 2012.
Initial investigations suggest Ms Gallanio could have died of a drug overdose (Picture:Kasia Gallanio/Instagram)
Ms Gallanio then moved to Marbella, followed by years of disputes reportedly stemming from Mr Al-Thani’s opposition to the girls spending time with her.
She lost custody of the children in 2018 amid claims she was battling drinking problems and severe depression.
According to Le Parisien, one of the daughters filed a complaint in April this year in which she accused her father of forcing her to sleep in his bed and touching her chest and buttocks between the ages of 9 and 15.
A police investigation into suspected aggravated sexual assault was reportedly launched as a result. Mr Al-Thani has consistently denied the claims.
Ms Gallanio gave an interview to Women’s World TV later in April in which she said: ‘It’s time to speak up. It’s time to let people know that it’s not all glamour and perfect.
‘I do also struggle and I go through things, and it’s been difficult. Not just for me hut for the children.’
An Instagram account thought to belong to one of her daughters posted: ‘Love you forever mama I’m so proud of you keep on watching over us.’
An autopsy was due to be carried out by Spanish authorities on Tuesday.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.