It could almost be 2011. A rumbustious media baron brought down by his own business practices, City institutions mired in scandal, and a fallout that was felt for months across every front page in Britain.
Yet it is 20 years this month since the death of Robert Maxwell. It very soon emerged that the debts of his Mirror Group vastly outweighed its assets and that £440m was missing from the company's pension funds. There was an eight-month trial and a three-year campaign mounted by the 30,000 Mirror Group pensioners, which led to a £100m government payout and a £276m out-of-court settlement with City institutions. But the scandal was about so much more than just money. Maxwell's death left behind a trail of chaos, misled advisers, stunned family members, quickly distanced acquaintances and perplexed staff. Here The IoS looks back at how the media baron's empire unravelled and what happened to a whole cast of characters who emerged from that chaos.
For nearly 50 years, "Betty" was credited for maintaining order amid her husband's capricious chaos. In her autobiography, A Mind of My Own, she wrote: "Everything was sacrificed on the altar of Bob's genius, and in the end the children and I were to pay a heavy price." She is now a respected Holocaust historian who turned 90 this year.
Assuming control of his father's empire, Kevin became Britain's biggest bankrupt, to the tune of more than £400m, in the pension fund scandal that engulfed his family. A career as a property magnate was marred this year after Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz, two tycoons he shared an office with, were arrested by the Serious Fraud Office. In July he was disqualified from being a director for eight years.
Assumed control with brother Kevin of the Maxwell business after their father's death. Once a regular on London's social circuit, he has become something of a recluse. He is reportedly living in Hackney, east London.
Maxwell's eldest daughter had a strained relationship with her father. After Oxford, she became a Montessori teacher and is now a hypnotherapist married to an osteopath. The couple, who live in Surrey, have a teenage daughter.
The twins made The Sunday Times rich list in 1999 after amassing £100m in the dotcom boom. Christine now lives in Provence. A former teacher, she has written a book called The Dictionary of Perfect Spelling and is married to an astrophysicist. They have two sons and a daughter.
Now lives in New York presiding over Maxwell Communications. "This is a most emotional time," she recently tweeted about the anniversary. Has a 25-year-old son by an ex-husband.
Maxwell's youngest daughter moved to the US in 1991, and became a fixture on the Manhattan party circuit. She befriended Jeffrey Epstein, jailed financier and controversial one-time friend of Prince Andrew.
Daughter-in-law, wife of Kevin
She and Kevin had seven children and were together for 23 years until they separated in 2007. Lives in Oxford.
After winning a scholarship to Balliol College at 16, Philip moved to Argentina. Twice married, he is now living in north London and pursuing a career as a writer.
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