Gina Rinehart's family feud has stepped up a notch, with youngest daughter Ginia releasing private emails sent by her brother John to their mother, in which he described his sister as “incompetent, craving attention and superficial” with a brain like "a weak bowl of porridge".
John Hancock, now 38, sent one of the emails nearly two years ago, just days after the suppression order was lifted and the family's mammoth dispute and dirty laundry was aired.
He told his mother that Ginia, then 25, could not help run the company because “you have spoiled her so much her brain has turned into a weak bowl of porridge", according to an affidavit tendered by Ginia's lawyer John Dalzell.
The bitter family dispute erupted days before Ginia was due to turn 25 and a $5 billion trust set up for the children by their grandfather Lang Hancock was to vest.
The trust holds 23.4 per cent of Mrs Rinehart's flagship company Hancock Prospecting.
Mrs Rinehart's net worth dropped by $3 billion this week to $16.95 billion amid a slump in revenue and earnings at Hancock Prospecting.
Ahead of Ginia's birthday in September 2011 she told her children they would be bankrupted if the trust was allowed to vest and she secretly extended the vesting date. Her three eldest children - Hope, Bianca and John – then sued, alleging she had breached her duty as trustee and failed to act in their best interests. Hope later settled with her mother.
Since the court case began there has been a stream of emails which show a fractured family in which each sibling has at one time or another been chosen as successor to their mother, only to be tossed aside and replaced by another.
In one email tendered to the court and sent by John to his mother on June 11, he told accused her of running a “campaign the whole way to keep me down" and chastised his sister, calling her soft.
“And why shouldn't she be after how you have molley coddled her!”
“A Rolls at 25. Really mother, Silly on your and her fronts.”
He said his sister needed a “good few weeks with no free money and finding her own job- get out of those middle aged Socialite clothes that cover her lack of earned self-esteem, and try and start learning how to run HPPL.
“She will have more than just me to battle against if you insist on unfair practices, and every chancer on the planet will know she is incompetent, craving attention and superficial- all easily supplied to the weak for a price.”
When extracts of the emails were released on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Hancock admitted he had “criticised Ginia's conduct, harshly, in private emails addressed to my mother only”.
But he questioned why Ginia had told her lawyers to release the emails and that the fact it had occurred confirmed his view that the two were working together behind the scenes.
“I have an especially dim view of her tactics against Bianca. Despite my private views of Ginia's behaviour, I would never choose to make them public. Ginia has decided to do so.”
Other emails tendered to the court said that “whoever the trustee, Ginia is the most intellectually disabled and influenced”, and another, after she had been photographed on a super-yacht on Perth's Swan river: “just tell Ginia to wear a bag over her head - cover up her genetic deficiencies from prying eyes.”
The case will return to court next year.