Their fondness for illegal substances such a crack cocaine and heroin was widely known. Their full-blown addiction, however, not so much. Only those in Eva and Hans Kristian Rausing’s privilege world, knew to some extent. But not the full extent.
After being arrested for driving erratically in London last week, her husband, estimated to be worth a staggering $10 billion as heir to the Tetra Pak fortune, was found with drugs on him, and subsequently arrested.
A search by UK police in his 5-story mansion discovered something they weren’t looking for: The body of his wife.
Reports have varied since the discovery, but now the latest news suggests Eva could have been dead in one of the two squalor rooms they occupied for a MONTH. The mother-of-four was only 48.
Rausing and his wife have previously donated large sums of money to anti-drug charities, including the Mentor Foundation, which is an international program that steers youth away from drug use and abuse.
But in the end, all the money in the world or the charities they helped ultimately could not stave off their own demons.
We spoke to addiction expert, Richard Taite, President and CEO of Cliffside Malibu, to get his opinion, and he provides an enlightening, if not incredibly troubling insight into just how deep in the trenches the couple were with their drug addiction.
Celebzter: This week, American heiress Eva Rausing was found dead in her 70 million pound home in London, she was said to be dead for a week, and her husband was found driving erratically and with drugs in his possession…
Firstly, do you think he was high on drugs to deal with the grief of losing his wife?
Richard: While I cannot speculate that he was high at the time, grief does give a good excuse for a drug addict to continue on their downward spiral. Having said that however, I have serious questions as to whether or not he even knew of the passing of his wife.
Celebzter: What is the thought process behind someone living with their dead wife for days upon days?
Richard: Here is my thought on this matter and it’s only speculation (and it’s speculation based upon years of personal experience). I think it is not only possible but probable that this gentleman didn’t even know his wife passed. First of all, let’s say she had been gone 2-3-4 days. In “crack time”, that’s 2-3-4 hours. When you are smoking crack, time goes by at the blink of an eye, that’s why I refer to it as “crack time”. When you are smoking crack for as long as these people allegedly had been you don’t have a sense of smell, and again that comes from personal experience. So a body that might be decomposing at the time would not have even been noticed by the husband. Lastly, it is common that people partying together for a long time runs its course and the continued usage is done in mutual isolation, no longer together. So, if these two have been partying in separate parts of the home, it is highly likely that someone gone for 2-3-4-5 days, could have gone unnoticed by the other.
Now, in the alternative, to answer the question directly, if he had gone into the room where his wife was after a few days and noticed she had deceased, it is possible that he would have been so grief-stricken that instead of calling someone in his immediate support system for help, he would have continued to get high as an avoidance mechanism to deal with the grief. I did hear one interview however, that some retired FBI agent made the silly statement that if this gentleman didn’t kill his wife, why would he have waited days? He basically said: what other explanation is there that he didn’t kill his wife, that he waited 2 or more days with a decomposing body in the house? Out of the 3 scenarios: 1) he didn’t know, 2) he found out after the fact, and 3) he had a part in his wife’s murder (which is by far the least likely that he had a hand in his wife’s murder).
Celebzter: The couple had long fought addiction problems and been to rehab unsuccessfully, do you think because they were so fabulously wealthy, it was easier for them to exist in a drug-fueled world since they didn’t have to get up and work every day or worry about making a living?
Richard: It’s always easier to do drugs when life’s responsibilities don’t get in the way. Every crack head’s dream is to have absolutely no responsibility whatsoever other than getting high. With these folks, the money isn’t going to run out, so as you can see, even when the money doesn’t run out, crack smoking comes with side effects.
Celebzter: The pair lived in mansion, yet in the end, were confined to two rooms which were described as a squalor….does this show for one, that they were unable to live a normal day-to-day life, and secondly, does it highlight the depths of their drug addiction?
Richard: First of all, it is definitely part of the drug addict psyche to make your environment as small and compact as possible, and that has to do with a comfort level in part. You also increasingly get more paranoid. So it’s more comfortable to stay in a small place. Their house is stated to be worth 70 million pounds, which is about 100 million dollars US and around 5 stories. This is a huge house, probably 10,000 square feet or larger, so it’s not at all unreasonable that these people were on separate sides of the house.
Secondly, what most people do when they smoke crack is they tweak on their surroundings. In lay person terms, they literally destroy the areas they are smoking crack in. It is not at all uncommon having a foot of garbage covering the room while you are smoking.
Celebzter: Why is drug abuse so rampant amongst the rich?
Richard: If you think drug abuse is so rampant amongst the rich, I invite you to go to the poorer neighborhoods of this country. I would argue that it’s much more rampant there. Drug addiction is a problem everywhere. It’s just sexier to talk about the rich being drug addicted.
Celebzter: Do they think that by having money, they are invincible, when in reality, they are no different from the poor who are addicted?
Richard: People who have money in general feel more invincible, and they can also get a better class of drugs.
Celebzter: And do you think that boredom is a factor in their drug abuse?
Richard: Let’s get this straight: EVERYTHING next to smoking crack is boring.
Celebzter: Eva penned this email to her husband’s father but never sent it…
“If nothing changes I will die, Hans. I just felt that I did not want to die without trying everything that I possibly could to reach you and to ask you to please help me. Your son feels very, very hopeless. Although I stick close to him, I am losing my grip because I am weakening.”
And she also recently spent time in rehab and went back to Britain to get her husband….by the sound of things, his addiction was worse and she feared leaving him because she feared he would die of an overdose.
The question is when you put two addicts into the mix, does it just exacerbate an already dangerous situation?
Richard: When two people are using together they always feel like the other one has the bigger problem. In this case it appears after all that she had the bigger problem.
Celebzter: Another sad story that emerged over the weekend was the death of Sylvester Stallone’s son Sage was found dead– he was just 36. It is understood he died of a prescription pill overdose and was dead for a week before he was found….his friends are surprised because he is understood to not dabble in drugs….what would make him. There was no suicide note found, do you think this is the classic case of someone accidentally taking too much medication?
Richard: I am heartbroken for his parents and the rest of his immediate family and friends. I do not believe it’s appropriate to speculate about what happened at this point in time. The truth is, all we know about this is one officer, or someone with the coroner, was talking about something he knows absolutely nothing about. The statements this person made was to the effect of: “Yeah there were prescription drugs there, but I’m not going to get into it. Maybe it was Viagra and Lipitor.