Amschel Rothschild, millionaire heir to the banking dynasty, hanged himself in a Paris hotel room while suffering from depression brought on by his mother's death.
An inquest heard yesterday how the banker was a reticent man who did not show his feelings but had been distressed since his mother, Teresa, Lady Rothschild, had died six weeks earlier.
In a written statement read to the court his widow, Anita, said: "His family had noticed that he had depressive tendencies. We do not know the reason for this but certain family antecedents predisposed him to this act. The loss of his mother had affected him."
Mrs Rothschild, part of the Guinness family, added her husband of 15 years had not been receiving treatment or taking medication for depression. The family was represented by lawyers in court.
Mr Rothschild, 41, whose personal fortune has been estimated at between pounds 30m and pounds 100m, was the chairman of Rothschild Asset Managements, the fund management arm of the family banking firm. He was in Paris last month with Peter Troughton, the company's deputy chairman, for a business meeting after which he returned to his room at the Hotel Bristol.
The pair had arranged to meet for a drink before dinner but the usually punctual Mr Rothschild did not appear at the arranged time. After 20 minutes Mr Troughton tried to call him but the line was busy. He was on the point of going to Mr Rothschild's room when the hotel manager informed him Mr Rothschild had died.
Mr Troughton told the hearing at Westminster Coroner's Court in London that the meeting had been successful and Mr Rothschild had not seemed troubled afterwards, but added that he was a "reticent" man.
Naima Debbouza, a hotel chambermaid, said Mr Rothschild had seemed angry when she had gone to his room that evening to deliver his laundry. In a written statement she said: "He took the box containing the washing out of my hands very aggressively and banged his door like someone annoyed, even disturbed."
Less than two hours later she returned to room 402 to make his bed. When she knocked and received no answer she let herself in to find his fully- clothed body in the bathroom, his dressing gown belt fastened around his neck and tied to the towel rail.
Pathologist Dr Iain West said a post-mortem examination had revealed marks around Mr Rothschild's neck consistent with hanging.
Recording a verdict of suicide, the coroner Dr Paul Knapman emphasised there were no sinister circumstances surrounding Mr Rothschild's death.
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