Richard Pratt had a colorful life, until he died at age 74 on April 28, 2009. A former professional Australian rules football player and stage actor, he inherited his father’s small cardboard business in 1969 and grew it into one of the world’s largest privately-owned recycling and packaging companies.
Pratt peaked on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires at number 321 in 2005. Two years later, his fortune was valued by Forbes at $2.5 billion (in U.S. dollars). His fortune declined from there, and Pratt eventually admitted to a massive price-fixing scheme, paying a record $33 million fine. Pratt still managed to wind up as Australia’s fourth wealthiest person, leaving behind a $5.5 billion estate (in Australian dollars).
It was well known in Australian society that Pratt enjoyed the company of mistresses, one of whom gave birth to a daughter by Pratt in 1997. But it’s another mistress who caused the biggest headache for Pratt’s estate. Madison Ashton (also known as Christine McQueen) was a Penthouse Pet. She sued Pratt’s estate for millions, claiming he reneged on a “business agreement”.