Family of tragic Tetra Pak heiress to boycott inquest

The mother of drug-addict Eva Rausing, whose body was found under bin bags in July, will be flying to Barbados instead, she tells Sanchez Manning

The family of one of Britain's richest women, who lay dead in her central London home for up to eight weeks, have no plans to attend the inquest into her death, her mother said yesterday.

Eva Rausing, married to the Tetra Pak heir Hans Kristian Rausing and the daughter of a wealthy former executive of Pepsi, Tom Kemeny, died earlier this year after a long battle with drug addiction.

Her mother, Nancy Kemeny, who lives in the United States, said neither she nor the rest of her family were planning to fly to Britain for a coroner's hearing about her daughter's death because they believed that inquiries were effectively concluded.

She said the British authorities had told her the cause of her 48-year-old daughter's death was drugs.

Speaking ahead of the inquest on Friday, Mrs Kemeny said: "We'd prefer not to come over. What evidence could I give? I really don't understand what it's all about, this inquest. I thought it was more or less over with – I didn't know there was going to be another one.

"My son-in-law was sentenced to two years in rehab and that's where he is and I don't understand now why he's being brought back. If that's what the law is then it's fine, but I just thought it was finished."

The inquest comes five months after police discovered Mrs Rausing's body in an upstairs bedroom of her £50m home in Cadogan Place, Chelsea, west London. Her decomposing corpse was found in July hidden under a pile of clothing and bin bags which had been taped together. It is believed that she may have lain there for up to eight weeks and was only uncovered after Hans Rausing was stopped by police while driving, and arrested on suspicion of possessing Class A drugs.

Rausing – joint heir to the estimated £5.4bn Tetra Pak carton fortune – later admitted to "preventing the lawful and decent burial" of his wife's body. The 49-year-old claimed during his appearance at Westminster magistrates' court that he had kept his wife's body in the house because he had been unable to face up to the reality of her death. In a courtroom statement Rausing's doctor said he had told him: "I know it sounds selfish but I just didn't want her to leave."

Rausing was sentenced to 10 months in jail, suspended for two years, and ordered to attend a drug rehabilitation programme.

It was a tragic end to what had already been a sad tale of years of hard-drug use during which the ultra-rich couple had descended into what was reported to be a "twilight world of addiction". The once popular socialites, who had counted the Prince of Wales among their friends and donated millions to charity, had become virtual recluses over the past five years.

According to friends, they lived in squalor on the second floor of their home, and rejected all offers of help as they slipped further into the grip of heroin and crack cocaine. Their malaise spilled into public view this summer when they were both photographed looking gaunt and frail.

Just weeks later, Mrs Rausing was confirmed dead. An initial inquest into her death was opened and adjourned last July.

During the short hearing, Scotland Yard detectives told Westminster coroner's court that Mr Rausing was in hospital being treated for alcohol withdrawal and was too unwell to answer questions.

It was further revealed that post-mortem tests had been inconclusive and Mrs Rausing's death was being treated as unexplained. The inquest is now set to reopen on 14 December and it is understood that Rausing will be represented by Neil Saunders QC.

While the hearing is taking place, Mrs Kemeny said she plans to fly from her beachfront home in South Carolina to Barbados, where the family has a second home.

She said she was unhappy with plans to hold a memorial service for Eva at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in March next year. She objects to the size of the event at the retirement home for British soldiers, which is being organised by her son-in-law.

"There will be a huge memorial service on 6 March," she said. "It will be at the Royal Hospital because she helped the Royal Hospital a lot. I've been told it will be very big, which I'm against because I wanted it to be family and a few close friends."

Despite her misgivings about the service, Mrs Kemeny said her family say they will attend.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Senior SAP MM Consultant, £50,000 - £60,000, Birmingham

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP MM C...

SAP BW BO

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP BW BO - 6 MONTHS - LONDON London (Gr...

HSE Manger - Solar

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: HSE Mana...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried