The 10th Earl of Shaftesbury, whose third wife and her brother have been found guilty of his murder, was a flamboyant multi-millionaire who followed in his father's footsteps.
Lord Shaftesbury and Jamila M'Barek were married in Holland
Lord Shaftesbury's father died in 1947 before he could inherit the title, but not before he had shocked London society by marrying a model and chorus girl, Sylvia Hawkes, who later married Douglas Fairbanks Senior and Clark Gable.
Described by friends as likeable and generous as well as weak and fragile, Lord Shaftesbury, who died aged 66, had a family history which dates back to the Norman Conquest and includes the founder of the Whig Party.
Born Anthony Ashley-Cooper, the 10th earl inherited his title from his grandfather at 22 and with it the family seat at Wimborne, Dorset, with its 9,000 acres.
As a teenager at Eton, he had already developed a taste for exotic women.
Writing in the college magazine, he derided young women from his own background, calling English debutantes "round-shouldered, unsophisticated garglers of pink champagne".
Having completed his education at Oxford, he married for the first time when he was 28.
The first of Lord Shaftesbury's three weddings was in 1966
His bride was a 40-year-old American divorcee, Bianca Le Vien, but they divorced 10 years later because of his adultery.
In the same year, he married another divorcee, Christina Casella, the daughter of a Swedish ambassador.
They had two sons, Anthony and Nicholas, and were divorced five years ago.
It was agreed that Christina and her sons should be given the family seat at Wimborne as part of the divorce settlement.
Tragically, Anthony - who became the 11th Earl of Shaftesbury after his father's death - died of a heart attack at the age of 27, soon after his father's body was discovered.
His brother Nicholas is now the 12th Earl of Shaftesbury.
In 2002, Lord Shaftesbury told friends he intended to marry Nathalie Lions, a French lingerie model, but within a year, he had married another woman instead - Jamila M'Barek, a divorced mother-of-two, in Holland.
The earl had been living the high life in the south of France
Lord Shaftesbury had homes in London and Brighton, but most of his property was in France.
An apartment in Versailles boasted antique furniture worth an estimated £3m and he owned a country home near Toulouse as well as an apartment in Cannes.
It was in Cannes, where Ms M'Barek lived in a £500,000 apartment bought by her husband, that she was arrested on suspicion of his murder.
The earl, a heavy drinker, had for years been frequenting the hostess bars on the Cote d'Azur.
His friends joked that he was a "philanthropist who specialised in rescuing lap dancers".
Mohammed and Jamila M'Barek deny murdering the earl
In their trial for his murder, Ms M'Barek and her brother Mohammed M'Barek said Lord Ashley-Cooper looked for comfort with hostesses.
Mr M'Barek told the prosecution the earl was "an aggressive man who looked for comfort with these hostesses in shady bars, who gave him cocaine and made him drink".
But his sister had looked after him and "turned him into a man", Mr M'Barek added.