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Did Drugs Kill Eva Rausing?

A London billionaire's drug arrest leads police to the body of his American wife, who battled addiction for years.

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The Rausings this past June. What went wrong?
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By Gabrielle Wuhl

07/11/12

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The Rausings' story pays testament to the fact that riches can't quell addiction. Eva Rausing, the American wife of billionaire Tetra Pak heir Hans Rausing, was found dead in their luxurious London home yesterday—raising questions about the couple's druggy history. The couple first met in rehab 25 years ago. They were best known for their 10 billion-dollar fortune and commitment to philanthropic causes—many of which supported recovery from addiction. But it seems the philanthropic pair continued to struggle with their own drug issues. Mr. Rausings, 49, was reportedly "driving erratically" around London on Monday when he was arrested on suspicion of drug possession, leading police to search the property he shared with his 48-year-old wife in the exclusive Belgravia neighborhood. Her body was discovered inside. Sources say she'd been dead for an undetermined period—with some claiming it was up to a week. Four years ago, Eva Rausing was charged with trying to smuggle small amounts of crack cocaine and heroin in her handbag into the American Embassy in London. Police searched the Rausings' home then and found stashes of heroin, cocaine and crack; the charges were later dropped and Mrs. Rausing acknowledged her actions as "a serious mistake," vowing to get help. “She bravely fought her health issues for many years,” said her family in a statement released today. Police haven't said that foul play was involved in her death, the cause of which is still undetermined after an initial autopsy. Hans Rausing is being questioned while receiving treatment at a London hospital.

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