May 27, 2019
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Former Belgian king faces daily fine for paternity test refusal

Brussels, May 16 (efe-epa).- The former King of Belgium has been ordered Thursday to pay a fine of 5,000 euros ($5,665) a day if he continues to refuse a paternity test after an artist claimed to be his illegitimate daughter.

Delphine Boël, a member of the country's nobility, has long claimed that she is the daughter of Albert II, King of the Belgian through a relationship he had with her mother.

A previous test confirmed that Jacques Boël, her mother's husband, was not her biological father.

A court in the Belgian capital Brussels has ordered the 84-year-old retired monarch to take the test or face the fine, according to local media, which said the ex-king could challenge the ruling.

The Appeals Court in Brussels court agreed with Boël in November, after a five-year legal battle, and ordered a DNA test from the former king, giving him a 90-day window to comply.

The court ruled that DNA samples belonging to Albert and the aristocrat, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, Boël's biological mother and known former lover of the king, would have to be analyzed and compared.

Albert, who has always denied the love child claims, refused to undergo the test when the time limit came to an end.

His lawyers appealed the ruling to the Court of Cassation, Belgium's main court of last resort.

Boël's paternity lawsuit could not go forward until 2013 when the monarch abdicated in favor of his son, Philippe.

Her existence first surfaced in 1999 after the publication of an unauthorized biography of Queen Paola of Belgium, an Italian aristocrat and former wife of Albert II.

Selys Longchamps added to the speculation when she published photos of her daughter with the monarch and revealed that she had an affair with him, which nearly led to his divorce from Paola on two occasions, once in 1969 and another in 1976.

Albert admitted in an interview on the RTL Belgian television channel aired in June 2014, a few months before Boël's paternity claim became a high-profile media story, that his marriage with Paola had gone through some difficult moments, but he has never recognized Boël as his daughter. EFE-EPA

rja/jt/rb

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