The father of Eva Rausing has released a detailed tribute to his daughter detailing her long battle with drug addiction, a week after she was found dead in her London mansion.

In a statement on Tuesday night, Tom Kemeny, the US philanthropist and former Pepsi executive, described Eva and her husband Hans Kristian Rausing, son of the Tetra Pak billionaire, as a “devoted and loving couple” who “bravely battled their demons and supported each other”.

He said: “Eva will be a devastating loss to our beloved ‘son’ Hans Kristian, whom we love unconditionally with all our hearts.”

Last week it was confirmed at the inquest into Mrs Rausing’s death that Mr Rausing had been arrested on suspicion of murder, after police discovered her body in an upstairs bedroom. The inquest was adjourned because Mr Rausing was in hospital being treated for alcohol withdrawal, and not fit to answer questions.

Late on Tuesday, however, Mr Rausing was charged with preventing the “lawful and decent burial of Eva Rausing’s body”. He is to appear at West London Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

The coroner is still awaiting the results of post mortem tests on Ms Rausing’s body and, in the interim, her death is being described as “unexplained”.

Mr Kemeny said Mrs Rausing, who had tried to overcome drug addiction for years, had “saved thousands of lives – tragically not her own”, through her work with drug prevention and treatment charities.

Before her marriage, Mrs Rausing had worked as an assistant for John Aspinal, the casino millionaire, zookeeper and former friend of Lord Lucan, the missing peer.

Mrs Rausing’s duties “included buying exotic fruit for his large collection of gorillas”, said Mr Kemeny.

Her family said they hoped their tribute, which detailed the various drug prevention and treatment charities Mrs Rausing had contributed to, would “draw attention to the tragedy of drug addiction”, adding: “This is a stark reminder that the illness of addiction knows no social class or gender.”

In due course, they would launch a charitable foundation in her memory.

Mr Rausing’s father, also called Hans, became famous for his association with the Tetra Pak carton company and is one of the richest men in Britain with a fortune estimated at £4.3bn. Hans Kristian and his two sisters, Lisbet and Sigrid, stand to inherit this fortune.

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