From an early age Gina Rinehart knew she was heir to one of Australia's largest fortunes. Her father, Lang Hancock, loved her dearly and groomed her to take over the company. Then along came Rose, the Filipina housekeeper Lang married in 1985, and the obsessively private House of Hancock was changed forever. Hancock's death in 1992 opened floodgates of litigation, with Rose and Gina fixtures in the courts fighting it out for their share of Lang's mining assets. The Pilbara Princess has now become the Queen of Litigation, taking on her children and anyone else who dares to challenge her through countless court battles.
Hancock's extraordinary iron ore discovery and his subsequent royalty agreement with Rio Tinto ensured the wealth of the family for generations to come. But when Gina Rinehart inherited the company in 1992 it was mired in debt. Since then, the resources boom and a demonic approach to growing the business has magnified the wealth of the Rinehart and Hancock estates many times over and given Rinehart - thought to be much tougher than her father - a very loud voice in Australian domestic and foreign policy.
Always distrustful of the media, Rinehart is now extending her power and acquiring broadcast and print media interests. Informed by sources close to the Hancock family and other business associates and including exclusive materials never before seen, Debi Marshall asks what next for the woman who has more wealth than the Queen, but appears to have few sustainable relationships in her life?