Tycoon slaps wife and flees over 'rapper' affair

Martin Beckford

The marriage between a son of the billionaire financier James Goldsmith and an heir to the Rothschild banking dynasty is over, amid claims that she had begun living an "increasingly nocturnal" lifestyle that led to her having an affair with an American rapper.

Ben Goldsmith had separated from his wife Kate earlier this year, but after a brief reconciliation their relationship ended last week with police being called after they had a confrontation over her late nights and secret romance with Jay Electronica.

The 31-year-old slapped his wife and kicked a child's toy truck at her, later accepting a caution for assault. He has now moved out of the London family home and fled to Italy with his mother Annabel and his three children, and will now file for divorce.

"I'm pretty shell-shocked by everything. All I am thinking about now is my children," Mr Goldsmith said.


His estranged wife is believed to be saddened not only by their split but also by the fact that details have been released to the press, and is consulting lawyers.

Meanwhile the rapper blamed for the marriage breakdown was due to arrive back at his London home last night.

A spokesman for Mrs Goldsmith said in a statement: "Kate is devastated, she has had a very frightening time since she and her husband initially split five months ago, and this is just another sad development."

The couple come from two of the country's most illustrious and wealthiest families and had appeared to enjoy an enviable life together.

Mr Goldsmith inherited an estimated £300m (¤371m) after the death of his father James, who built up a fortune as a food magnate and then investor before becoming a vocal opponent of the European Union.

His other children with his third wife are Zac, the environment activist and Tory MP, and Jemima, who married the Pakistani cricketer turned politician Imran Khan.

Meanwhile Mr Goldsmith's wife (29), inherited a multi-million pound fortune after the death of her banker father, Amschel Rothschild, and is related to the Guinness family. The couple have known each other since they were teenagers.