Eccentric Thai King’s Official Mistress Has Hundreds of Nudes Allegedly Leaked
JACK TAYLOR / AFP via Getty Images
The eccentric billionaire King of Thailand has a number of problems on his gilded plate right now.
The federal government has raised concerns that he is illegally ruling his country from a hotel in the Bavarian Alps, where he lived for much of the year with 20 women. Demonstrations at home demanding democratic reforms in the country and its power are growing in intensity.
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And now his lover has been attacked by an apparent nude photo leak.
Around 1,400 selfies, many of which are sexually explicit, were allegedly stolen from Sineenat 'Koi' Wongvajirapakdi, 35, and sent to anti-monarchy activists in what appears to be a very modern twist on the centuries-old rituals of court rivalry and intrigue.
Koi was released earlier this year after spending ten months in a correctional facility. She had been accused of quarreling with the Queen, but has now been declared "immaculate" and restored to her role as the official wife of the 68-year-old King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
The alleged nude photos were sent earlier this year to prominent British commentator on Thai affairs, Andrew MacGregor Marshall, and to Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thai academic who lives in Japan and is being prosecuted in Thailand for criticizing the monarchy.
Marshall told The Daily Beast that he only decided to publicly announce that the photos had been sent to him because Chachavalpongpun had done so. Chachavalpongpun posted several of the non-explicit images.
Marshall told The Daily Beast that in August - around the time Koi was reinstated into the royal household - he received a letter with an SD card to an address he no longer lives. The letter had, as he suspected, a "fake sender address" that corresponded to the headquarters of the German secret services in Berlin.
“There were 1400 photos from four different iPhones. Some of them were very intimate photos.
“I've decided not to publish it. They had obviously been sent to me without their consent, but all I saw was that this was a faction palace game.
"In early August my home in Scotland was monitored and a threat was left on the doorstep. It was a pretty worrying time and the last thing I wanted was to get drawn into palace politics."
When Chachavalpongpun published some of the images and described the content of others, arguing that he was doing this to expose the falseness of the image that the Thai royal family is seeking for projects, Marshall felt it appropriate to endorse him and say that he did I got it too.
"From the point of this whole thing on, it was clearly an attempt to sabotage her return to court," Marshall said.
“There is factional fighting in every royal court. It is an infamous element of palace life. If you are a monarch with wife and queen and you are appointing a consort, this is a recipe for vicious fights. "
Marshall notes that this is not the first time compromising photos of the Thai kings have appeared online. "There is a staggering amount of nude Thai royal meat online," he said.
The king divorced his third wife in 2014 after a video appeared of them feeding his poodle Fufu birthday cake while wearing only a G-string and courtiers crawling on the floor in front of them.
The existence of the photos is not reported by mainstream local media in Thailand due to strict bans, but news about them is trickling back into the country via social media, particularly Facebook.
Thailand tried earlier this year to get Facebook to remove a group critical of the monarchy that had more than a million members but failed in the attempt.
Marshall posted a report on the pictures in Thai on his Facebook page.
Thailand is battling a deep recession caused by COVID-19 and the collapse of the central tourism trade.
Royal family opponents have been encouraged in recent months as the number of rallies against the establishment by student protesters has risen.
Protesters recently protested by wearing crop tops to mock the king who was photographed wearing similar clothing at airports and in German shopping malls.
The protests were sparked by reports of the king's enormous wealth, estimated at $ 30 billion to $ 40 billion by the London Financial Times, after heads of state were effectively placed under his direct control by the leaders of a successful 2014 coup.
He is considered the richest king in the world.
As The Daily Beast recently reported, Vajiralongkorn is also believed to have built an extraordinary fleet of 38 jets and helicopters for the exclusive use of the Thai royal family.
Reports of his gilded life in the Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where his entourage of 20 concubines, all of whom were given the same honorary name, also damaged his national and international reputation.
Cables written by Eric John as US Ambassador to Bangkok and published by Wikileaks describe the king's strange behavior. The cables said he adored his dog, Fufu, and gave him the title of Air Chief Marshal. He is said to have brought the dog to an official dinner, "in formal evening attire with paw gloves," where he drank from the guests' water glasses.
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