Aboriginal elder says she's Rinehart's sister
NATHAN PARTENZA AND ADELE FERGUSON
Gina Rinehart's son, John Hancock, has spoken publicly for the first time about Aboriginal elder Hilda Kickett, casting doubt on her claims that she is the illegitimate daughter of his grandfather, Lang Hancock.
Kickett spoke on Australia's A Current Affair last night about her relationship with Lang Hancock. During the interview, she claimed she had DNA evidence to prove the link to the Hancock family.
When asked if she was acknowledged by the family today, she said: "I know John and Bianca and I know a lot of the other family."
Kickett said the children referred to her as "aunty". "They are just like my own kids ... There is nothing I wouldn't do for them."
But when contacted by Fairfax Media, John Hancock said in response: "My mother and others who I've spoken with who knew Lang well were of the view that Hilda is not Lang's daughter," he said. "I made the offer of a DNA test but I've never given one, nor did I hear anything back from Hilda."
Hancock said his sister, Bianca, had never met Hilda in person. "I've met her twice during the inquest as she said she had information, and I met with a lot of people during that period - including a clairvoyant, who had visited Rose's [Lang Hancock's third wife Rose Porteous] house a few times," he said.
Hancock said he called a few other senior Aboriginal women "aunty" as a polite endearment.
"If it's something Hilda wants to find out for sure either way, I'm still prepared to take the test - but for accuracy's sake, these articles should reflect [the fact that] I've not had the test, nor has any of my family, to determine if Hilda is related or not," he said.
Kickett, who lived in an orphanage, said Lang occasionally arranged for her to visit him at various houses. "He was always in the background making sure I was all right," she said.
Three of Rinehart's four children - Hope, John and Bianca - are in a bitter legal battle with their mother over claims that she delayed the vesting date of the family trust.
But Kickett, who lives in Geraldton, north of Perth, said her life had been "far more rewarding than material stuff", and she would not launch a claim for a part of the family's estate. "Why should I?" she said.
Kickett said Gina Rinehart did not talk to her but the Nine Network claimed her status as half-sister was acknowledged by Lang's widow, Rose Porteous.
- Sydney Morning Herald