Ex-wife of billionaire Qatari prince is found dead in Marbella from suspected drug overdose amid custody battle for three daughters - weeks after she gave interview and said he had 'inappropriately touched' one of their children
A former princess of Qatar has been found dead in her Marbella home aged 45 amid an ugly custody battle with her ex-husband who she accuses of molesting one of their children.
Kasia Gallanio was the third wife of billionaire Abdelaziz bin Khalifa Al Thani, 73, the uncle of the current Emir of Qatar.
She claimed the former Qatari oil and finance minister, who was the eldest son of previous Emir Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, sexually abused one of their three daughters, although he has denied the allegations.
Gallanio, who led a lavish lifestyle partying with celebrities and attended Sofia Vergara's extravagant wedding to Joe Manganiello in 2015, was found on Sunday morning in Spain after a suspected drug overdose.
According to Le Parisien, Spanish police officers discovered Gallanio's body in a bed with no signs of physical violence.
She was found after her youngest daughter alerted the Spanish police from Paris that she had been unable to contact her mother for days, El Pais reported.
The Spanish newspaper said that several officers were allowed by the doorman to enter Gallanio's apartment complex in Marbella at around 8am on Sunday.
Le Parisien reported that on May 19, a Paris court had dismissed Gallanio's custody demands. She had recently spent several months in hospital, with the French publication saying she was prone to suffering from nervous breakdowns.
As a result, the judge postponed the case until a psychological evaluation could be undertaken to better understand the family's circumstances, Le Parisien said.
The former couple share two 17-year-old twins who initially lived with Al Thani before they decided to move in with their mother in Marbella.
But she said he then decided to 'cut them off as punishment'.
They have another daughter, who is aged 15 and still lives with the Qatari royal in a luxury 50,000-square-foot apartment in Paris, where he was exiled following a coup led by his half-brother Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in 1995.
The former royal couple had been engaged in a bitter legal battle for 15 years over the custody of their children.
He accused her of being an alcoholic with mental health issues, while Al Thani was accused of abusing one of the couple's daughters.
The Paris Public Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation into the accusations of aggravated sexual assault, the French newspaper said.
The 73-year-old father has denied the accusations against him, Le Parisien reported.
Gallanio said in a recent interview with Women's World: 'Two of my daughters are twins. They wanted to live with me, so he cut contact with them as a punishment. It's very sad because children need both parents.
'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.'
Gallanio, of Polish origin, grew up in Los Angeles and met Abdelaziz when she was 19 years old and they married in 2004.
Speaking to Olive Press - a Spanish English-language newspaper for Ex-Pats in the country - a close friend of Gallanio described her as a 'good person' who was 'against drugs' and denied that she was an alcoholic.
'I knew her very very well and am devastated at the news,' Louis Spagnuolo told the publication. '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.'
During a recent court hearing in Paris, it was alleged that one of her daughters had been abused by her father.
Gallanio said last month: 'We had some bad news last week which I was absolutely devastated about.
'It was alleged in court that her father had touched her inappropriately, which is going to go into an investigation.'
The ex-wife has been increasingly speaking out against the royal in her bid to gain full custody of all her children.
She told her 500,000 Instagram followers recently: 'I have been struggling with posting this on my IG but after getting so many messages of support and how so many parents are in the same situation, I decided to share my story.
'First a man should never disrespect the mother of his children and vice versa.
'No matter how mad, upset or jealous or spiteful the father of my kids is, I am doing whatever I can to provide, protect, love, raise, feed and educate the girls like no one else will. I'm not perfect but I try my best.
'Children should NEVER be used as victims or pawns when the parents can't get along.
'The father of my children Prince Abdulaziz Khalifa Al Thani has not paid one cent for child support for a over a year now to help me support and raise our children.
'In my opinion this is outrageous, unfair, embarrassing and a real shame. No matter on what financial level or status you are. It's really immoral because again the kids are the casualty.
'However it's more humiliating when you are a billionaire prince of QATAR.'
Despite not being able to see her daughters often, in another post recently she shared a photograph of them together and shared how much she loved them.
'My darlings. Never forget that I love you so much. Life is filled with hard times and good times. If at certain moments you feel overwhelmed …..don’t forget who you are…..straighten up your crown and be brave……Learn from everything you can and be the incredible, inspiring, powerful and compassionate women, I know you can be ~ love mommy,' she wrote.
A post mortem will be held to establish the cause of Gallanio's death, with initial indications suggesting that she died of a drug overdose.