'Kerry didn't realise the impact he had on his son'
James Packer was born to a life of privilege and wealth – but it's a gift that came with enormous pressure to succeed.
It's the kind of pressure that has almost cost him his fortune, destroyed many of his relationships, and deeply affected his mental health.
Former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson was one of Kerry Packer's most trusted confidantes.
"So Kerry I think was too hard on (James) at times," he said.
"And being tough physically was very important to the Packers, quite apart from being tough mentally."
Kerry would take 14-year-old James to the backyard and force him to face down cricket balls launched at 190km/hr from an American-made baseball launcher.
"I saw him be pretty hard on James in front of others," Mr Richardson said.
"He chose quite often to do it in front of others. I saw it myself three or four times, which wasn't overly pleasant."
However, journalist Damon Kitney said James believed his father's conduct was not always intentional.
Kitney, a friend of James Packer, interviewed the billionaire along with many other subjects for a biography, The Price of Fortune – The Untold Story of Being James Packer.
"I do think there were probably times in James's life when Kerry was too hard on James," he said.
"But I think sometimes – and James makes this point himself – Kerry probably didn't realise the impact he was having on his son."
The collapse of OneTel, a telecommunications company that James had backed in the late 1990s, also infuriated Kerry.
"It was just that that terrible time where I guess Kerry felt maybe let down – I mean, that's my words, not James's – by what happened with OneTel," Kitney said.
Social analyst David Chalke said James's instinct to diversify through telecommunications had been the right thing.
"In the case of OneTel, they'd obviously got it right, they got it into telecommunications early, they were pitching at the young market who were the early adopters and taking up on mobile phone technology," Mr Chalke said.
"The positioning was right, everything was right, there's just the day-to-day managing of the business. They just ran out of money, they blew the money through inept management."
After OneTel, James and his first wife, Johdi Meares, spent a lot of time in the US, becoming involved in Scientology.
James grew close to the religion's movie-star poster boy Tom Cruise – though the two have since drifted apart.
Packer would go on to count many celebrities as friends, including Hollywood legend Warren Beatty.
"I think the most important thing Warren did for James, and it's documented amazingly, is that he drove him to psychiatrist offices in LA when James was at his lowest point, when he was really hitting the booze hard," Kitney said.
James would go on to found the RatPac film company with close friend, director Brett Ratner.
The compnay bankrolled smash hits including Oscar-winners Gravity and The Revenant, starring Packer pal Leonardo DiCaprio.
But the failure of big-budget Warren Beatty movie Rules Don't Apply led Packer to pull his investment from the company.
James Packer's proximity to the celebrity world perhaps reached its most well-known apex in his relationship to pop star Mariah Carey.
The two became engaged, but James's friend Kerry Stokes has admitted he thought the relationship was not what James needed.
Stokes, owner of Seven West Media, sent James to Israel to give him some space from the ongoing drama.
He said he had James's jet sent away for servicing and hid his luxury yacht, to ensure he would not be disturbed.
Ultimately, it led to the end of the relationship in September 2016.
Earlier this year, James Packer resigned form the board of Crown Resorts, citing mental health reasons, and checked into rehab in the US.
However, Kitney said the billionaire was now in "a much better place" mentally.
"I think overall, James has had a go. That's probably the most important thing and he says it himself - ever since his father died, he certainly had a go," Kitney said.
"I think he'll be comfortable today that the empire is in good shape."