The scandalous debauchery of the playboy tenth Earl of Shaftesbury sent seismic shock waves through the British aristocracy. One of the richest men in the country and master of a Downton Abbey-style dynasty, he abandoned his loyal wife and two sons for a depraved life of drunken orgies, cocaine and bed-hopping with Continental whores. His riotous romp plumbed the depths when he divorced the mother of his children to marry a foreign prostitute, installing her as the new, grand Countess of Shaftesbury, making her the female figurehead of an historic family revered for centuries for its probity and charity. Incredibly, he flirted with more prostitutes and set about divorcing his whore-countess in order that another of his stable of swingers could acquire the ancient and noble title. But ugly fate caught up with him first. After being reported missing, his skeletal remains were found several months later among household rubbish in what had once been a beauty spot just outside Cannes, on the ritzy French Riviera.The Countess and her psychopath brother were convicted of the premeditated murder, committed in a desperate attempt to retain the titled status and a lion's share of the inheritance before the Earl had changed his will.
Hollywood superstars and a reigning monarch were even cited at the trial. But the full, tawdry story has never been told - until now. People privy to the Earl's darkest secrets have been tracked down and for the first time have filled in the vital gaps that were never revealed at the trial or have ever been published before. In this meticulously researched book, the author has unearthed truths beyond the most warped imagination.