Ben Goldsmith says he used hallucinogenic drug to see his dead teenage daughter

·2-min read
Much loved: Iris with her father Ben (PA)
Much loved: Iris with her father Ben (PA)

The financier Ben Goldsmith has revealed he took a hallucinogenic drug in a bid to see his late daughter following her death.

Iris Goldsmith, 15, was killed in a quad bike accident on the family farm in Somerset in July 2019.

Mr Goldsmith, 42, who shared Iris with banking heiress Kate Rothschild, has told how he saw her after taking the psychedelic tea Ayahuasca during a retreat with eleven other people in Ecuador.

He told The Sunday Times: “I saw Iris. I saw with startling clarity the nature of the girl I had known so well and the relationship that had existed between us while she was alive.

“Since the accident, all thoughts of her had been clouded with shock, anger, sadness, fear, grief. Now, for the first time since losing her, I saw once again my Iris as she had been.”

He added: “I saw our little unspoken jokes, a momentary look exchanged across the table, a particular expression I knew so well, that infectious giggle; I saw a brave little ginger-haired girl buttoned up in her school uniform, casting us a little sideways smile as we waved her of for her first day at big school; her ability to wind me up and my often unreasonable reaction; our shared awe in the presence of Nature’s magic.”

He said his “body heaved and shook as tears sheeted down my face”.

“I yearned to reach out and grab her, to hold her tightly to me now, but there was no way of doing so,” he said.

Iris had been zig-zagging across a rough field when the six-seater Polaris Ranger overturned. She landed on her neck on the family’s Cannwood Farm in North Brewham, Somerset.

The Polaris was lifted from her but she was unconscious and had stopped breathing. She was pronounced dead after efforts to revive her for 45 minutes.

Mr Goldsmith is the son of late billionaire tycoon Sir James Goldsmith and younger brother of Environment Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith and television producer Jemima Goldsmith.

He has two sons, Frankie and Isaac, with the banking heiress Kate Rothschild. The couple split in 2012 after he found texts on her phone from the American rapper Jay Electronica and she admitted an affair.

He is now married to Jemima Jones, a caterer. They have three children, Eliza, Arlo and Vita.

Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic drink made from tropical plants found in the Amazon. It is illegal in many countries because it contains the powerful hallucinogenic drug dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, a Class A drug.

Psychological effects include intense visual hallucinations, depersonalisation, auditory distortions and an altered sense of time and body image.