By Sam Greenhill and John Stevens
All seems good with the world in this picture of a happy-looking Ben Goldsmith as he enjoys a spot of hunting with the American musician Jay Electronica.
But the image of the smiling pair, which is believed to have been taken seven months ago, may come to haunt the millionaire after his wife Kate had an alleged affair with the rapper.
The tinted instagram picture emerged today and shows Mr Goldsmith and Electronica standing shoulder to shoulder – Mr Goldsmith seemingly oblivious to any issues in his relationship.
Mr Goldsmith’s spat with his wife over the alleged fling took an even uglier turn yesterday as he took to Twitter to publicly accuse her of fretting more about her image than their ‘devastated children’.
He took to Twitter to broadcast his anguish about the end of their nine-year marriage amid reports the heiress has been having an affair with a US rapper.
Mr Goldsmith ridiculed the 29-year-old for hiring a PR firm to ‘fix her reputation’. He told his 6,000 followers: ‘A bit late surely? How about focusing on her devastated children?’
Heiress Kate, 29, a scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty, has three young children with Mr Goldsmith, son of the late billionaire Sir James Goldsmith.
Mr Goldsmith’s comments came as pictures emerged of the opulent interior of their family home in Kensington, West London, which went on the market for £20million just before the couple had their final separation.
The ‘unique’ detached property, built in 1860, has more than 5,600sg/ft of living space across four floors, complete with solid oak flooring, a summer house and spacious garden in one of the capital’s most desirable districts.
Mr Goldsmith is said to have confronted his wife after discovering explicit text and email messages from hip hop star Jay Electronica.
Matters came to a head last Wednesday in a fierce bust-up at the couple’s home, in which he is said to have slapped Kate and kicked a child’s toy at her in fury.
His wife called police who arrested Mr Goldsmith, 31, on suspicion of actual bodily harm. He later accepted a police caution.
The Eton-educated financier also posted a Tweet yesterday which said: ‘Ps, in case you missed it’, and pointed his followers to an article in the Daily Mail about his wife’s alleged infidelity.
However, by late afternoon it appeared Mr Goldsmith had had a change of heart about airing his marriage troubles in public.
Both the Tweet about the Mail article, and the earlier one about his wife hiring a PR company, were deleted without explanation.
The PR company Mrs Goldsmith retained is Project Associates Ltd, a Mayfair-based reputation and crisis management firm.
A spokesman at the firm said Mrs Goldsmith was concerned that ‘inaccurate information’ was being given to the media designed to ‘deflect from the gravity of last week’s incident involving the police’.
He added: ‘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.
‘Her main concern now is for her children who will remain with her at the family home.
‘Kate has no further comment at this time. In the meantime she is seeking legal advice on a number of matters.
‘Her family wish to add that they are completely supportive and they remain very much on speaking terms.’
Mr Goldsmith has moved out of the family home and is staying in Italy with his mother Lady Annabel, and will now file for divorce.
At the weekend he told the Mail on Sunday: ‘I’m pretty shell-shocked by everything. All I am thinking about now is my children.’
The couple are from two of the country’s wealthiest families. Mr Goldsmith inherited an estimated £300million after the death of his father, who built up a £1.2billion fortune.
Kate inherited an £18million fortune after the suicide of her banker father Amschel Rothschild, and is related to the Guinness brewery family on her mother’s side.
The couple have known each other since they were teenagers and were regulars in society publications such as Tatler before marrying young in September 2003 at a wedding attended by 600 guests.
In 2010 Mrs Goldsmith set up a record company called Roundtable Records, which led to her spending time at gigs and clubs in London as well as travelling to Los Angeles.
She got to know the 35-year-old rapper – real name Timothy Elpadaro Thedford – last autumn.
Yesterday Jay Electronica posted a bizarre message on his Twitter page which read simply: ‘#LoveIsOnTheWay’.
Last week, the union between the son of the late financier Sir James Goldsmith and his wife, a scion of the Rothschild banking dynasty, collapsed in the most spectacular fashion.
Mr Goldsmith apparently confronted his 29-year-old wife last Wednesday after discovering explicit texts and emails between the pair.
After initially denying the affair, Kate admitted it when her husband told her he had read the text messages.
There was a fierce row, during which Mr Goldsmith is said to have slapped Kate and kicked a child’s toy at her.
Ben then took their children to school, and by the time he had returned his wife had called the police and officers were at the house to arrest him.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that a 31-year-old man from Kensington, West London, was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and taken to a police station, where he accepted a caution.
Mr Goldsmith is away on a pre-planned holiday with the couple’s three young children. But he has said he plans to sue for divorce on the grounds of adultery.
While friends of Ben’s say his wife is still ‘obsessed’ with Electronica, last night a friend of Kate’s claimed the affair happened during a five-month break from Ben, and ended after three months.
Whatever the precise truth, it is still a startling end to the marriage that marked the union of two hugely powerful dynasties.
That Kate Goldsmith has been carrying on with a rapper known for his sexually explicit lyrics is undoubtedly a scandal, even for a family that is no stranger to colourful goings-on.
Last night, one friend told the Mail that the Goldsmith family are incredibly angry and that the divorce will be nasty.
‘Ben is going to start proceedings at the earliest opportunity,’ says the friend. ‘It will be a fight. They will fight over the kettle and the teapot!
‘There is a lot of anger. Lady Annabel (Ben’s formidable mother) is especially incensed and upset.’
Both Ben and his 29-year-old wife are wealthy in their own right, and unravelling their fortunes to reach a divorce settlement will be complicated.
Sir James left his family a £1.2 billion fortune when he died in 1997, much of which is tied up in trust.
Kate and her family were left £18 million — considerably less, but hardly a pittance — when her father died. Amschel Rothschild, a banker, was found hanged in the Hotel Bristol in Paris in 1996, aged just 41.
Feelings are running high at the moment, and another complication is the fact that Kate’s sister, Alice Rothschild, is going out with Ben’s elder brother, Zac.
Zac’s own ten-year marriage to Sheherazade Ventura-Bentley collapsed in 2009 after he began an affair with Alice, and they now live together in a house on the Goldsmiths’ family estate in Richmond, South-West London.
Zac’s divorce is still not finalised, as lawyers continue to work out a financial settlement between him and Sheherazade.
According to one friend, Alice now finds herself in a tricky situation. ‘Alice is well-liked in the family, but the Goldsmiths are asking, how much did she know about Kate and this rapper? Alice and Kate are close. It’s very awkward.’
Indeed. So how did Kate Goldsmith come to fall for a rapper? How did the affair begin, and what will happen between them now that her husband intends to divorce her?
Kate Rothschild and Ben Goldsmith were just 21 and 23 respectively when they married in 2003. They were young — perhaps too young.
When they married, Ben was the more confident of the two, and the ‘dominant’ one in the marriage. Kate, say those who know her well, has a more vulnerable air.
‘People often say she’s rather like Princess Diana,’ says a friend. ‘Her father’s suicide had a profound effect on her, and she has this way of making people protective of her.’
But as the marriage wore on, Kate grew in confidence and, say friends, became tired of ‘being told what to do all the time’ by her husband. They began to grow apart.
And then Kate met Electronic.
The singer’s background could not have been more different from the Rothschild girl, who was educated at Bryanston School in Dorset.
Electronica was born and raised in the Magnolia Projects in New Orleans, Louisiana, an area known for poverty and violent crime.
He rose to prominence in 2007 when a track entitled Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge) became popular on MySpace, the social networking site.
Three years later, Jay-Z, one of the world’s biggest selling rap artists, signed him to his Roc Nation stable of musicians.
Kate has her own record label, Round Table. Thirty-five-year-old Electronica has been based in London for the past couple of years. Presumably the pair met through their links with the music industry.
According to reports, but denied by Kate’s friends, the affair is believed to have begun about a year ago, with Kate besotted by the singer, whom she calls Jay Jay.
Both her family — her mother, Anita, is the daughter of merchant banker James Guinness — and the Goldsmiths are said to be aghast at the affair.
‘Ben is heartbroken, devastated and thoroughly miserable,’ a friend of the couple reportedly said.
While Kate’s friends claim the affair is over, his friends have a different view.
‘He suspected Kate was cheating on him because she has been behaving increasingly erratically for some time,’ says one.
‘She is obsessed with this chap, who is one of her clients. She is always on the phone to him, and out with him until four or five in the morning most nights. Sometimes she even stays with him.
‘Ben was paranoid about their friendship months ago, but when he confronted her about an affair earlier this year she denied it.
‘Then, last week, he found a series of texts and email messages. They were very intense messages planning sexual liaisons.’
On the face of it, it is a classic tale of a posh girl falling for a bad boy. But according to another source, it is not quite like that.
‘He has this “street” persona, but Jay Electronica is not really like that — he’s much gentler, a vegetarian and Buddhist,’ says another friend. ‘He and Kate feel they have a spiritual connection, and Kate tells friends he is the first person to really understand her.
‘And although he comes from a poor area, he has been successful, he has money, and he pays for Kate when he takes her out.’
The affair has uncanny echoes of a previous scandal involving Kate’s great aunt, born Pannonica Rothschild, who went on to become Baroness de Koenigswater.
It is a strange story. In 1948, Nica, as she was known, became bewitched by an unknown black jazz pianist, Thelonious Monk, after hearing a recording he had made of Round Midnight.
At a time when mixed-race relationships were frowned upon, she abandoned her husband and five children, moved into a hotel suite and set about finding him. She finally tracked him down in 1954 and devoted the next 28 years to him until his death.
Nica’s family disowned her. Kate can expect to be similarly shunned by the Goldsmith clan.
Friends say that the situation is difficult, too, for Jemima Khan — Ben’s older sister, who was on good terms with Kate, but will now be expected to cast her adrift.
‘It’s hard, but Lady Annabel will expect all of them to rally behind Ben,’ says the friend.
So what of the future? Electronica returned to the U.S. last week to attend his grandmother’s funeral, but is expected back in Britain soon. No one knows what will happen next between him and Kate.
As early as this week, the lawyers will get involved.
This week, Kate was still at the Kensington house, which was put up for sale two months ago. When the Mail knocked on the door yesterday, a young blonde woman came to a side door and said: ‘We don’t want to talk to you.’
But a friend told the Mail: ‘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. Her main concern now is for her children, who will remain with her at the family home.’
Lady Annabel, the Goldsmith family matriarch, is on holiday in Sicily and could not be contacted. But she was well aware that it was her husband Sir Jimmy’s wish that one of his children would one day marry a Rothschild.
He would never have imagined that such a union would end like this. But then no one did, least of all Kate’s husband Ben.