The wife of the late Lord Lucan has issued an extraordinary apology over the murder of the family’s nanny, saying she is “deeply sad” that her own marital problems caused her to die.
The Dowager Countess of Lucan, who was attacked on the same night as Sandra Rivett was bludgeoned to death, said she is “very sorry” about what happened, and works to compensate by ensuring she is not forgotten.
Lady Lucan is to be interviewed as part of an ITV documentary entitled “My Husband, the Truth”, which investigates what really happened on the now-notorious 1974 evening when both women were viciously beaten in the family home.
Mrs Rivett, nanny to the three Lucan children, was killed in the basement with a lead pipe. Lady Lucan was also attacked, running into a nearby pub covered in blood screaming for help.
Lord Lucan, the 7th Earl, disappeared and has never been seen since, with a formal death certificate allowing his son to inherit the title finally issued last year.
His wife, now 79, will be interviewed on screen about their dysfunctional relationship, bitter custody battle and her own depression.
“I am deeply sad that my marriage caused Mrs Sandra Rivett to die,” she said.
“I am very sorry about that. But I cannot alter it, except not to forget about her – and I don’t forget about her.”
Michael Waldman, the programme’s director, told the Radio Times: “She feels that she does have an extraordinarily clear recollection of facts and feelings…she has given her truth unabashedly.”
Lady Lucan has been estranged from her children, aged between 46 and 52, for 35 years, admitting she “could have been better” as a mother.
Asked what happened to her husband following the attack, she said: “I would say he got on the ferry and jumped off in the middle of the Channel in the way of the propellers so that his remains wouldn’t be found – I think quite brave.”
In a bleak insight into their marriage, she claimed her husband would beat her with a cane when she became depressed, to get the “mad ideas out of your head”.
“He could have hit harder,” she told the programme. “They were measured blows. He must have got pleasure out of it because he had intercourse [with me] afterwards.”
Lord Lucan: My Husband, the Truth, will be broadcast on Monday, June 5 at 9pm on ITV.