Billionaire Hans Rausing Sentenced to Drug Rehab For Delaying Burial Of Wife

PHOTO: Hans and Eva Rausing
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Hans Rausing, a billionaire heir to a food packaging fortune, was given a 10 month suspended sentence in a London court today after he pleaded guilty to living with his wife's dead body for two months.

"I do not know what caused her death. I did not feel able to confront the reality of her death," Rausing said in a statement he read in Isleworth Crown Court in West London.

An initial post-mortem was inconclusive, however the BBC reported toxicology results showed drugs were in Eva Rausing's system at the time of her death.

Rausing acknowledged that in hindsight, he did not feel he acted rationally and said he was "very traumatized" from the death of his American wife, Eva Rausing.

A judge ordered Rausing to undergo intensive drug rehabilitation in order to avoid jail time. He also received a two-month suspended sentence for driving under the influence, stemming from the July 9 incident that prompted police to stop Rausing and ultimately discover his wife's body.

The decomposing body of Eva Rausing was found at the couple's Belgravia home by authorities on July 9. The body of the American heiress, who like her husband had long battled an addiction to drugs, was found wrapped in trash bags that were sealed with tape.

Hans Rausing had used deodorizing powder to minimize the rotting smell in the room, which was filled with flies, the Associated Press reported.

Together, Hans and Eva Rausing were well-known as a billionaire power couple who donated generously to addiction-related charities but also secretly battled the same demons that brought them together 25 years ago in an American rehab clinic, where they first met.

Eva Rausing served as a co-patron, along with the Duchess of Cambridge, on the drug charity Action on Addiction. She was also a patron of the Mentor U.K. charity, a group that works to keep children away from alcohol and drugs. The couple counted Prince Charles as a friend.

The Rausings' appetite for drugs was not publicly known until their arrests in 2008. That year, a security guard caught Eva Rausing trying to sneak drugs into a party at the U.S. Embassy in London.

Officers then searched the couple's home, where they found crack, heroin and cocaine. The Rausings were issued a formal caution and the charges were dropped.

At the time of the embassy incident, Eva Rausing told reporters she was ashamed of her actions.

"I am very sorry for the upset I have caused. I have made a grave error, and consider myself to have taken a wrong turn in the course of my life," Rausing told the BBC in 2008. Rausing alluded to her struggle to fight addiction on her Myspace page. In a posting, which appears to be from 2007, she wrote that she was looking for ways to use her time constructively.

"I fell back into the same hole as before and have been there for nearly seven years. I once read that I would have seven bad years (I don't normally believe in hocus-pocus horoscopes), but so far it has been right," Rausing wrote. "I'm hoping for seven good years starting 2007."

The couple have four children.

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