Hans Kristian Rausing pleaded guilty Wednesday to preventing the proper burial of his wealthy wife Eva, whose decomposing body lay in their luxury home for two months before it was discovered.
Rausing, whose father made billions selling his stake in the Tetra Pak drinks-carton empire, pleaded guilty at London’s Isleworth Crown Court, said a spokeswoman for Britain’s judiciary who spoke on condition of anonymity because of office policy.
Police discovered 48-year-old Eva Rausing’s body in early July after her husband was stopped by police after driving erratically. It was found in a fly-filled room under a pile of clothing and garbage bags which had been taped together. A post-mortem examination established that she died on May 7.
Hans Kristian, 49, said in a statement read in court that he believes he suffered some sort of breakdown after his wife’s death. Hans Kristian told police that he did not have “a very coherent recollection of the events leading up to and since Eva’s death” but that he had never wished her any harm.
He said he had tried to “carry on” as if her death hadn’t happened. He also said he had “batted away any inquiries about her,” a tactic that apparently kept family and friends from finding out about her demise.
Hans Kristian said in the statement that he had not supplied her with drugs and did not know what caused her death. “I do not feel, with the benefit of hindsight, that following her death I acted rationally,” he said, adding that he had been “very traumatized” by her death.
The plea caps a tragic story of addiction and wealth. Both Eva and Hans Kristian struggled publicly with drugs while donating millions to anti-addiction charities. The Rausings had previously been arrested in 2008 after Eva Rausing was caught trying to bring drugs into the U.S. Embassy in London.
Both Rausings have a long history of drug abuse. Their four children are being raised by one of Hans Kristian’s sisters. The judiciary spokeswoman said that Hans Kristian would be sentenced later. He has been treated in a psychiatric facility in recent weeks.