A new documentary series about disgraced media mogul Robert Maxwell show previously-unseen footage of the last time the doomed tycoon was seen alive.
Clips from the docu-series also divulge never-heard-before audio recordings from November 1991, where senior staff members of Mirror Newspaper Group are trying to get in contact with their boss after leaving them with the financial mess he made, while he sailed on his Lady Ghislane yacht in the Canary Islands.
The newly-discovered footage filmed by staff on board the yacht shows Robert relaxing in what turned out to be the last few days of his life.
While senior executives of his empire were trying and failing to get in touch with him in regard to the fallout of his companies and financial discrepancies, he was the opposite – he knew their every moves as it is revealed that he was bugging their phones.
One boss is heard saying: ‘I just can’t go on, one day after another. It’s all because he doesn’t want to deal with it. That’s not easy. I’m f*****g furious.
‘Today I tried to ring him and the girls upstairs said they didn’t have his number which I know was a lie.’
‘I’m f****d if I know what he’s done. And he’s gone away on his boat, he said to me he was going to talk to them.
‘I’m still trying to track this bloody money down…’
The newly-discovered footage filmed by staff on board the yacht, the Lady Ghislane, pictured, shows Robert relaxing in what turned out to be the last few days of his life
BBC Two’s House of Maxwell gives insight into the complex family dynamics, hinting at a difficult upbringing for his daughter, ex-socialite and convicted sex offender Ghislane, pictured centre left with her father, and her siblings
Ghislaine Maxwell was last year found guilty of helping Jeffrey Epstein (pictured together) abuse a number of young girls
Robert’s 22-stone naked body was found dead, floating in the Atlantic ocean on 5 November 1991, after making himself unavailable to staff who wanted answers to the huge discrepancies in company finances.
Just a day before, Maxwell was on the phone to his son Kevin, regarding a meeting that was scheduled with the Bank of England.
Robert had £50,000,000 in loans with the bank, but despite this, decided to miss the meeting and continue travelling on the Lady Ghislane.
When he died, his publishing empire began to collapse after banks loaning him huge sums were calling in for their money back.
It also emerged that Maxwell had used hundreds of millions of pounds from his companies’ pension funds, in order to shore up his shares of Mirror Group, to stop the businesses from filing for bankruptcy.
The funds were replenished by investment banks, the British government, and partial payment from public funds. The rest was waived.
Pensioners therefore received about half of their company pension entitlement.
The empire he built was later found to be around £2billion in debt.
Following his death, the senior staff, who are voiced by actors to protect identities, struggle to understand the financial trouble – with one telling a colleague they are ‘short’ by £6.8million.
‘Where the hell has all the money gone?’ one says.
‘On top of the 100 bloody million? This is only the tip of the iceberg,’ another responds.’
The staff member is assured that a ‘big chunk’ was on its way to helping the figures add up and clean up the mess, to which he replied: ‘If it doesn’t, there’s going to be the most God almighty public scandal.’
In another clip from the House of Maxwell documentary, former Mirror Group secretary Carol Bragoli (pictured) recalls overhearing a bizarre phone conversation between Ghislane and her father, where the two ‘meowed’ like cats to one another for a few minutes before engaging in conversation
Former Sunday Mirror editor, Eve Pollard, describes the complicated relationship between Maxwell and his children, including Ghislaine, said she is ‘sure he loved his children’
Ghislaine Maxwell is pictured giving Jeffrey Epstein an intimate foot rub while the pair were on board his private jet
Another concludes: ‘We’re f***ed.’
In another clip from the House of Maxwell documentary, former Mirror Group secretary Carol Bragoli recalls overhearing a bizarre phone conversation between Ghislane and her father, where the two ‘meowed’ like cats to one another for a few minutes before engaging in conversation.
She said Robert always had his phone calls on loudspeaker as he ‘just couldn’t be bothered’ to put the phone to his ear, meaning she heard everything.
In contrast, she later goes on to explain how towards the end of Robert’s life, he became paranoid and he only trusted sons Kevin and Ian who worked with him.
She said: ‘He was becoming very suspicious. It reflects how paranoid he was becoming.’
BBC Two’s House of Maxwell gives insight into the complex family dynamics, hinting at a difficult upbringing for his daughter, ex-socialite and convicted sex offender Ghislane, and her siblings.
Former Sunday Mirror editor, Eve Pollard, describes the complicated relationship between Maxwell and his children, including Ghislaine, said she is ‘sure he loved his children’.
But she said that it is a ‘sort of love that can grab you by the throat as well as by the heart’, adding: ‘You never knew which way it would go.’
She spoke of the family base in Headington Hall, which became the house of media tycoon Robert Maxwell – but he supposedly spent very little time in the home with his loved ones.
‘When you go to Headington Hall, at the root of it there is Bob’s wife Betty and there are the children,’ she said.
‘Bob, often, barely went home at the weekend, or went home for an hour or two, half a day, and then come back to the Sunday Mirror on a Saturday night.
‘You’d think he’d stay in that lovely house with his children.
Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein (pictured together) had a close relationship but conspired to procure and abuse young women
‘And that would’ve been quite hard sometimes, I mean you want your father to be this lovely, cosy, father, to love you unconditionally.
‘And also he had a family where children had died, one child was in a car crash, I mean, they’d had a lot of tragedy in that family.
‘And yet they kept going and the children were all well-educated, obviously went to school and did well because Betty helped them and Bob rather insisted on it.
‘I’m sure he loved his children, I saw him being very fond of Ian and Kevin and Ghislane.
‘But it’s the sort of love that can grab you by the throat as well as by the heart, and you never knew which way it would go.’