The bil­lion­aires who de­scended into hell

The Sunday Telegraph - - Features -

opera of 2016 that in­sin­u­ated that Hans’s ad­dic­tion was re­venge for his grand­fa­ther’s in­sa­tiable greed.) And yet there is a fas­tid­i­ous­ness in her, a cool schol­ar­li­ness that flinches from the melo­drama. “To tell it at all threat­ens to become an act of vul­gar­ity,” she shud­ders.

I have to say that a per­son who is wor­ried about be­ing vul­gar would not be my top choice to tell a story that is ba­si­cally Strind­berg on speed. Still, Raus­ing starts well. She is ex­cel­lent on the damnable co­nun­drum of ad­dic­tion – “There is no medicine: the drugs ARE the medicine” – and on the cruel bind of rel­a­tives who try to help the peo­ple they love and end up act­ing as “a fa­mil­ial po­lice state”.

Hans and Eva met in re­hab, re­cov­ered, mar­ried in 1992 and had four chil­dren. It was on Mil­len­nium Eve that the cou­ple drank cham­pagne, trig­ger­ing a cat­a­strophic re­lapse that lasted for 12 years. Si­grid was sick with guilt over the tough-love strate­gies im­posed on her brother and his wife, who ended up be­ing un­able to look af­ter their kids.

“Of course, Hans and Eva loved them,” she writes, “but what’s the point

‘There is no medicine: the drugs are the medicine’: Te­tra Pak heir Hans Raus­ing and wife Eva met in re­hab, and mar­ried in 1992 (above), but mu­tu­ally re­lapsed into drug ad­dic­tion in 2000

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