The disgraced media mogul Robert Maxwell wanted to buy a stable of Australian newspapers to aggravate Rupert Murdoch, according to reports.
The Sydney Morning Herald said in 1990s Murdoch and Maxwell were involved in a “now legendary” feud (see below) and he wanted to beat the Aussie-born baron on his home turf.
The Former Prime Minister of Australia, Paul Keating, also sent Ghislaine Maxwell’s colourful father “packing” when he tried to buy in the 1980s and 1990s Aussie newspapers.
The story of Robert Maxwell Down Under reads like an an old-school media magnate roll-call – Kerry Packer, Alan Bond, Robert Holmes A Court, Canadian Conrad Black, and Warwick Fairfax.
Maxwell made bids for The Age and The West Australian newspapers and considered buying the Fairfax media stable. But the move was resisted by Keating under foreign investment laws.
And just like his daughter, everyone knew the suspected Mossad spy was disreputable. He was described by one journalist as a “blowhard and a swindler.” (See below, source The Sydney Morning Herald)
Maxwell owned several publishing assets in Australia – Pergamon and PanMacmillan. He also had an office for Maxwell Communications Corporations in Melbourne.
After the disgraced publisher died in 1991, it was reported Ghislaine brought in 1995 Jeffrey Epstein to holiday in Melbourne and Sydney.
But his bids for the Fairfax media stable and The West Australian faced opposition from journalists and government.