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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Wes Brown is sent-off
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower