Ginia Rinehart, the daughter of mining billionaire Gina Rinehart, tried desperately to save her bodyguard’s life after finding him hanging in a suite at an upmarket London hotel, a court has heard.
Former Special Forces soldier Jerry Rouwhorst, 35, took his own life on March 16 believing he had disgraced his friend and employer, Westminster’s Coroners Court heard.
The night before Mr Rouwhorst’s body was found handing, the two had been out drinking until the early morning hours as a farewell celebration for Ms Rinehart, 27, who was about to fly home to Australia.
They had both been staying at the Dorchester Hotel – booked into separate rooms but sharing an inter-connected sitting room, according to reports in News Corp.
During the early morning hours after a late night, Mr Rouwhorst – who was not used to drinking heavily – sent Ms Rinehart a text message around 10.30am saying he was tendering his resignation because he had let her down and embarrassed her in front of her friends.
Coroner Shirley Radcliffe described the message as a “cry for help”.
But it is believed that the mining heiress did not see the message to around midday.
She then frantically tried to enter her bodyguard’s room and remove the tie from around his neck before calling the front desk in a hysterical state.
It is believed he had tried to take his life about 15 minutes before he was found.
The stress of seeing her bodyguard hanging proved too much for Ms Reinhart who later collapsed in the hallway of the hotel.
As for Mr Rouwhorst, paramedics found a faint pulse and rushed him to hospital; however, he died a short time later.
The coroner has delivered an open verdict on the death by hanging, ruling that the level of alcohol in Mr Rouwhorst’s system and his distressed text message meant she could not be sure he intended to kill himself.
If you have suicidal thoughts please call beyond blue on 1300 22 4636.