Rinehart V Rinehart: World’s richest woman fights children in court
GINA Rinehart is Australia’s richest woman. She is richer than Dame Edna and has her own indoor dunny. Rinehart is a billionaire iron ore magnate (worth: £13.5 billion and predicted to rise very fast – she may yet soon be the world’s richest person) whose daughter Hope Rinehart Welker, 26, emails that she is “down to my last $60,000”. She needs help. For a “birthday present” Hope wants a cook, housekeeper and security guard. No, not Lego ones. Actual people.
Hope Rinehart Welker lives in the US with her husband Ryan Welker and their daughters. She’s 26. She told her mother:
“I need a few things for my birthday (cook so you can be sure April [her daughter] is fed right, bodyguard so the kids are safe and housekeeper that is good w kids so if I need to go out I can … I would buy them myself but I’m down to my last $60,000 and your (sic) only paying my husband $1 a year …”
Hope calculates that the cook cost up to $225,000 a year, a bodyguard $100,000 and a housekeeper $55,000.
£225,000 a year for barbecuing prawns and making sure the chicken drumsticks are cooked all the way through.
Gina replies that Hope could move back to Oz of to Singapore, where we are informed cooks can be hired for a little as $15,000 a month. Hope replies:
“It’s hard enough being a kid, let alone the peer pressure that comes from being the wealthiest one in the country. I don’t think you understand what it means now that the whole world thinks you’re going to be wealthier than Bill Gates – it means we all need bodyguards and very safe homes!! Especially the children who are small and easily targeted for kidnap. No country (not even Singapore) is safe.”
Is a 26-year-old mother a kid? Also, the Global Peace Index says the safest country on in the world is Iceland, followed by New Zealand. Singapore is at number 24, while the US is at Number 82, just below Gabon.
“I don’t have the money to protect myself or my children and it scares me. I should have enough money to have a bodyguard, housekeeper and cook. Even my friends who have nothing compared to your wealth have more staff.”
Hope is not greedy. We can think of at least a dozen other full-time professionals she needs and does not ask for: driver, stylist, bathroom attendant, rocketeer, tutor, depilator, gardener, personal trainer, emailer and inflatologist/clown.
Hope wants her inheritance. Hope and two of her three sibling – Bianca Rinehart and John Langley Hancock – are trying to get their hands on the cash, seeking to have mummy dearest removed from the head of the family’s trust which owns 25 per cent of Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd and 13 per cent of Fairfax Media.
(Why does she need the failing media firm? The Sydney Morning Herald notes: “Perhaps Rinehart has glimpsed a future in which she would return her shares for sole ownership of a print, radio or internet outlet. She would then have a vehicle for her unorthodox views, including nuclear bombs for mining exploration, a denial of climate change science, cheap migrant labour programs and less mining taxes.”)
The other sibling is Ginia Rinehart. Perth Now reports:
According to disclosures to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission just before Christmas, Mrs Rinehart has appointed her youngest daughter, Ginia Rinehart, to the board of one of her private companies, and to be an alternate director of iron ore giant Hancock Prospecting.
The emails have come to light at the New South Wales Supreme Court. Gina claimed that the family would be under greater threat of kidnap and envy if facts of the row were broadcast. The new media mogul wanted details suppressed. A current suppression order expires on March 9. Justice Michael Ball rejected Gina’s demand for a new suppression order. He could see no reason why reporting would increase any risk to the family’s well-being. So. Thanks to that, we get to see the emails.
Meanwhile, over in the US, Hope looks mournfully over at the cooker and wonders why those things don’t come with a cook. It’s a ruddy outrage.
Note: The push to suppress the emails has made the international media spot Gina Rinehart:
Gina herself was an only child, quiet and reserved during her days at St Hilda’s School in Perth. She married at the age of 19, to a young man, Greg Hayward, who worked for the company at Wittenoom. They had two children, John and Bianca, but separated in 1979. Four years later, she married US corporate lawyer Frank Rinehart, 65, in what was an extremely happy marriage that produced Hope and Ginia. When Frank died in 1990, Gina was still a young woman with four small children and a determination to get Hancock Prospecting back on track.
And, no, she never did meet and fall in love with Rupert Murdoch. But had she have…