Bianca Rinehart poses in Vogue magazine. Photo: Stephen Ward
There is some irony in Vogue Australia describing Bianca Rinehart as the country’s "most private heiress" at the same time the magazine has her spread over eight glossy pages wearing designer gowns.
In what is largely being seen as a pre-emptive public relations strike against her mother, Gina, Rinehart offers a rare public insight into one of the most intriguing family dynasties in Australian history.
The 34-year-old is currently engaged in legal proceedings alongside two of her siblings, John and Hope, as they fight their mother over access to the multi-billion-dollar trust set up by Bianca's late grandfather, Lang Hancock.
Bianca Rinehart reveals some secrets. Photo: Stephen Ward
Interestingly, she does not directly refer to her estranged mother once in the article, featured in the glossy's December issue, out on Friday.
However, the eldest daughter does speak of being shipped off to military school in the United States.
‘‘I was eight, it was so far from home, you know, it was in Culver, Indiana, so no, it wasn’t one of my favourite experiences.’’
And the difficulties of growing up in such a high-profile family have left emotional scars, especially during Hancock’s headline-making third marriage to Filipina Rose.
‘‘It would have started when Rose came on the scene; we did have to be more security-conscious than most. With tour buses stopping in the front of your house, both in the street and on the water, to point you out, it does make you feel exposed. I was concerned at times - I actually used to sleep with a hammer under my mattress,’’ Rinehart told the magazine.
But she does share happy memories, including times sitting on Hancock’s knee as he handled the controls of his private aircraft, soaring high above the family’s beloved Pilbara, the source of so much of its vast wealth and heartache.
At 29 she went to work for Rio Tinto, helping to build Hope Downs mine, and was set to follow in her mother and grandfather’s footsteps.
‘‘At Hope Downs I was part of the pre-production crew and drove a haul truck around preparing pits, creating waste dumps and areas for stockpiling, and was up there for the historic occasion of first ore through the crusher,’’ she enthusiastically informs the magazine, an accompanying photo showing her standing in the Pilbara next to a giant, dusty haul truck wearing a hard hat, full make up and a Gucci jacket and pants, worth $2500.
In 2010 she had a son, Nicholas, with her partner, Moscow-born Sasha Serebryakov, whom she met while working at Rio Tinto in Darwin.
As for the legal stoush with her mother, Rinehart attempts to avoid the proverbial elephant in the room, telling the magazine: ‘‘I just focus on my son, that’s all I can do. I guess to try to shield him from it. Just focusing on being the best mum that I can be. It’s a very hard situation to be in.’’