TV & Movies

Robert Maxwell’s Death Is Shrouded In Mystery

BBC’s House of Maxwell explores the life and death of Ghislaine Maxwell’s father.

Robert Maxwell’s Death Is Shrouded In Mystery
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In the wake of Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction for recruiting and trafficking underage girls on behalf of Jeffrey Epstein, the BBC’s House of Maxwell delves into the complex history of the powerful Maxwell family. The first episode of the three-part docuseries explores the life of Ghislaine's famous father, Robert Maxwell, who, like his daughter, is shrouded in controversy. But, what happened to Robert Maxwell?

As per the Guardian, media mogul Robert Maxwell was an influential figure in British society, rising to extreme wealth and notoriety from an impoverished life in Czechoslovakia. He was best known as the owner of Mirror Group Newspapers and the New York Daily News. However, Maxwell also owned Oxford United and Derby County football clubs and was elected as a Labour MP in the 1960s.

Alongside his career, Robert also enjoyed a busy family life, sharing nine children with his wife, Elizabeth, including his youngest child Ghislaine. However, things took a sinister turn on Nov. 4, 1991, when Robert was reported missing. As Forbes notes, the business tycoon had been onboard his luxurious yacht, named the Lady Ghislaine, in the Canary Islands, Spain. The following day, he was nowhere to be found, and it was believed that Robert could have accidentally fallen overboard during the night.

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On Nov. 5, 1991, Robert’s body was found in the ocean and he was confirmed dead. An autopsy revealed that the media mogul had a “graze” on his left shoulder, and three pathologists failed to agree on his exact cause of death. In Dec. 1991, an inquest ruled that Maxwell’s official cause of death was a heart attack and accidental drowning.

Per the Guardian, news of Robert’s sudden death onboard his £15 million yacht sparked a wave of conspiracy theories, with some suggesting that he had been murdered or taken his own life. Elsewhere, it later emerged that Maxwell had taken up to £460 million from the pension funds of his companies, tainting his reputation among colleagues who once admired him.

As mentioned, the BBC documentary series House of Maxwell charts the fascinating true story of the controversial Maxwell family and begins on Monday, April 4 at 9 p.m. on BBC Two.