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Billionaire iron ore heiress Gina Rinehart is being sued in the NSW Supreme Court by her daughter, Hope Welker.
The nature of Welker’s claim is currently unknown, and Rinehart’s legal team is seeking to keep the matter confidential.
Rinehart’s barrister, Alan Sullivan, QC, told the court the application had been made because of “the impact on commercial negotiations”.
Sullivan also requested that media and third-party access to the court file be restricted until the case formally opens.
He told the judge that “in due course, if this case does proceed” he would apply for suppression orders.
Following the request Justice Brereton agreed to hear the argument on restricting third party access.
Welker’s legal action marks the latest incident in a string of infighting within the Rinehart family going back many years.
Rinehart famously fell out with her father Lang Hancock after he began a relationship with his Filipino maid Rose Porteous.
After Hancock died Rinehart and Porteous engaged in years of bitter litigation over his fortune.
Rinehart also fell out with her son John, who changed his last name back to Hancock and was forced to vacate the family-owned apartment in Perth when his mother put it on the market.
He previously took legal action against Rinehart to claim a share of the Hancock family trust, and he described his mother as “a very powerful and controlling person” in court documents.
Rinehart moved to groom her daughter Bianca as future head of the empire several years ago, but she has not shown much interest in the company and has moved to Darwin to start a family.