Beer heir shunned after girlfriend's strange death
Tuesday 15 February 2011
The scion of the family that for generations ran America's most famous brewery, Anheuser-Busch, seems to have ducked the threat of criminal prosecution following the death just before Christmas of his former-model girlfriend from a drug overdose in his own bed. But the disdain of his home town may now stick to him forever.
Prosecutors in St Louis finally confirmed last week what many had considered a foregone conclusion. They had no cause to press charges against August Busch IV and had found no evidence of wrongdoing. Rather his girlfriend, 27-year-old Adrienne Martin, had died of an accidental overdose of cocaine and the painkiller oxycodone.
The tragedy, which unfolded on 19 December, has gripped a city that, for better or worse, is as closely identified with Anheuser-Busch – and therefore the Busch dynasty – as Detroit is with General Motors or Los Angeles with Hollywood.
But the city is hardly swelling with sympathy for the man known simply as "The Fourth". It is not just the privilege and the wealth that irks, but also his role in the 2008 sale of Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser, to Belgium's InBev for $52bn (£32bn), just two years after he took over as CEO from his retiring father. It seemed to some that he had sold the city's soul.
Mr Busch also made headlines in 1983 when he crashed his Corvette in Tucson, killing a young waitress in the passenger seat. Mr Busch was found hours later at home, claiming he had no memory of the accident.
Robert McCulloch, the prosecutor in the Martin case, told reporters last week: "We have no evidence of how and when the drugs were obtained. It was clearly an accidental overdose."
The decision to drop the case has angered nobody more than Ms Martin's father, Larry Eby. "I'm not going to stop," he told the New York Times. "Mr Busch doesn't know me but he will when I'm done."
- 1 National Orgasm Day: Six reasons (plus one bogus one) why they're good for us
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
- 4 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 5 Doctor Who: Christopher Eccleston says why he left the BBC series after just one series
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Stuart Baggs dies: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...
£15500 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has become available...
£60000 - £120000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This conference call startup i...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital and print design a...