A French lawyer says Monaco's Prince Albert II is filing a lawsuit in the U.S. against an American who claims he once worked as the prince's personal spymaster and is owed back pay.

The palace says that claims by Robert Eringer "smear" the image of the ruling prince and the reputation of Monaco. Lawyer Thierry Lacoste says the prince is suing.

Eringer claims in an interview in this week's Paris Match magazine that he worked for Albert from 2002 to 2007, keeping the prince abreast of potentially shady figures. Paris Match shows a photo of an ID card for the "Monaco Intelligence Service," or MIS, carrying Eringer's picture and number — 001. Its authenticity couldn't be established.

The palace said Friday that MIS has no "legal existence."