Zac Goldsmith, a British politician and heir to a £300m fortune, has separated from his wife Alice Rothschild, with whom he shares three children. The couple married in 2013 in a small ceremony at the London Wetland Centre, several years after their friendship began over Rothschild helping Goldsmith organise a poker tournament. The relationship between the couple initially came to prominence in 2011 when it was widely reported that Goldsmith had left his former wife, Sheherazade Bentley, for Rothschild. Goldsmith also lost £20m during his previous divorce settlement. Friends of the couple have denied that anyone else is involved in the separation.
The relationship leading to the separation began despite Rothschild being Goldsmith’s sister-in-law. Rothschild had been previously married to Benjamin Goldsmith, Zac’s younger brother, who divorced her in 2012 after she was alleged to have had an affair with a US rapper. Rothschild was also the daughter of financier Amschel Rothschild, who shared an £18m inheritance among his relatives when he committed suicide aged 41 in 1996. Rothschild and Goldsmith chose to marry in an intimate setting at the London Wetland Centre, which cost just £500 to hire, after Goldsmith’s previous extravagant wedding to Bentley in 1999 at the Ritz Hotel in London.
Goldsmith is a former MP, having held the Richmond Park constituency as a Conservative Party member from 2010 until 2016, when he unsuccessfully stood as an independent candidate in the by-election that he had initiated by resigning from office following his opposition to the expansion of Heathrow Airport. He retained his seat in the 2017 general election, but lost it again in the 2019 election. During his time as an MP, he held various ministerial roles including as Under-Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs. In 2020, Goldsmith was made a life peer in the House of Lords, allowing him to continue serving as a minister in the UK Government.
Goldsmith’s father, Sir James Goldsmith, was a contentious figure during his lifetime, having been a financier, politician and proponent of the Brexit movement, amongst other key issues. Goldsmith Sr’s life was characterised by numerous marriages and affairs, including with sisters, and he inherited around £1.2bn upon his father’s death.