Explosive emails revealed in Rinehart court battle as billionaire goes after her biographer

Gina Rinehart’s son attempted to make a secret deal with his mother in exchange for $3 million in offshore payments a year and a $15 million “sorry payment”, according to court documents disclosed yesterday.

John Hancock suggested the deal in 2011, which would have been in exchange for agreeing to some of Rinehart’s demands in relation to the trust.

The “confidential alternative” deal was a secret from his sisters, who Hancock described as lacking the “intellectual capacity” to understand what was happening in a series of emails to his mother and her adviser, Jay Newby.

The revelations were contained in an affidavit from one of Rinehart’s lawyers, Paul David McCann, which was tendered as Rinehart’s daughter Hope Rinehart Welker formally withdrew from the ongoing legal dispute between Rinehart and her children.

”If a confidential alternative is worked out between GHR [Gina Hope Rinehart] and myself, I don’t have any problems with delaying the vesting for a further 10 years,” Fairfax reports Hancock as stating in one email.

”This will allow the important GHR ‘guidance’ for the younger siblings for an extra 10 years, 10 years that I have had the ‘benefit’ of.”

In the emails, Hancock makes it clear that the deal is secret from his sisters, despite joining with two of them, Bianca Rinehart and Welker, a few days later in a civil action seeking to have their mother removed as a trustee.

”I’ve made it clear I’m open to an arrangement, particularly as I’ve had to wait an extra 10 years than the younger girls who have always been treated better anyway,” one email states.

”I doubt the other girls have the intellectual capacity to read the Income Tax Act, which clearly defines that capital gains tax is disregarded under these circumstances, unless I direct them to the applicable subsection anyway or explain it in suitable baby language for them.”

Rinehart has also turned on her biographer, Adele Ferguson, in an apparent attempt to force Ferguson to reveal her sources.

At the request of Hancock Prospecting, the Supreme Court of Western Australia has issued a subpoena demanding emails, text messages, notebooks and any recordings of interviews that may have been made between John Hancock and Ferguson since September 2011.

Ferguson told a radio station this morning she would prefer to go to jail than reveal her sources.

SmartCompany contacted Newby and Hancock Prospecting for comment but did not receive a response prior to publication.



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