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Billionaire Tetra Pak heir defied drug addiction experts, sister reveals

Published 24/01/2016

Kirsty Young, pictured, interviews the sister of drug addicted Tetra Pak heir Hans Rausing on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs
Kirsty Young, pictured, interviews the sister of drug addicted Tetra Pak heir Hans Rausing on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs

Tetra Pak heir Hans Rausing could not be helped out of his drug problem even by addiction experts specialising in rich people, his sister has revealed.

Sigrid Rausing said her family had tried everything to help her brother - one of Britain's richest men - before his wife Eva died from cocaine abuse in 2012.

The billionaire - who has been plagued by drug addiction - hit the headlines after his wife was discovered in a fly-filled bedroom of their home in London's exclusive Belgravia, hidden under a pile of bedding.

His sister described the moment they found out about her death as "surreal" and a "huge shock", on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.

Ms Rausing, the granddaughter of Tetra Pak founder Ruben Rausing and the publisher of Granta Books, told presenter Kirsty Young she had a history of depression that had started in her late teens.

Her second bout of depression had been triggered by her brother coming to stay at her home in Islington, north London, when she was in her 20s.

She said: "Your life, your fate becomes entangled in somebody else's and, you know, I think that was very true for me and my brother.

"I was very entangled in his addiction. I ended up going myself as a family member to that same rehab."

Her brother exhausted attempts to help him with his drug problem.

She said: "We had the best people in the world. We went through all the addiction experts - American experts specialising in wealthy families.

"I know that whole landscape so well, and what I can say about it is it doesn't help very much."

The philanthropist, whose charitable trust has given away around £230 million to human rights causes, said her interest in human rights had been sparked by hearing her parents talk about the Holocaust.

But she revealed that her grandparents had received kidnap threats for her and her siblings around the same time John Paul Getty III - son of billionaire philanthropist Sir Paul Getty - was kidnapped and held for ransom in the 1970s.

Her track choices included kd lang's cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, Chopin's Etude in C Major and The Last Goodbye by The Kills because it reminded her of Eva Rausing.

Tetra Pak is a leading food processing and packaging solutions company.

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