Freud is the son of June Flewett and the late writer Sir Clement Freud. His sister is television interviewer Emma Freud. His great-grandfather is Sigmund Freud and he is doubly related to the "father" of public relations, Edward Bernays, whose father was Sigmund Freud's brother-in-law (the brother of Sigmund Freud's wife) and whose mother was Sigmund Freud's sister. He is the nephew of the late artist Lucian Freud and (by former marriage) of the late writer Lady Caroline Blackwood, and his cousins include fashion designer Bella Freud, novelists Susie Boyt and Esther Freud.
He was educated at Westminster School and was excluded in his third year, whereupon he briefly attended Pimlico Comprehensive.
Freud Communications is currently the eighth largest public relations company in the UK, with around 220 employees. Landmark campaigns include the London 2012 Olympics, Product (RED), Nike, Pepsi, BMW, BUPA, ASDA etc. Adam Curtis in his documentary Century of the Self describes Matthew Freud as a star in the "new culture of public relations and marketing in politics, business and journalism" that rose in the Clinton-Blair years. PRWeek says that Freud is "the most influential PR professional in the UK".
Matthew Freud, along with his sister Emma Freud and brother-in-law Richard Curtis, sit on the board of Trustees for Comic Relief, which is aired every second year on the BBC as a nationwide charity event.
In May 2005, in partnership with Piers Morgan, he acquired ownership of the Press Gazette, a media trade publication, and its 'cash cow' the British Press Awards, in a deal worth £1million. Many major newspapers boycotted the event citing an apparent conflict of interest as one of the reasons.
His second wife was Elisabeth Murdoch, second daughter of media magnate Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation. When the couple began dating (while working as colleagues), she was pregnant with a second child by her first husband and business partner, Elkin Pianim (the son of Ghanaian financial and political mogul Kwame Pianim). The couple married 18 August 2001 at Blenheim Palace, and divorced in 2014. They have two children, Charlotte Emma Freud, born 17 November 2000, and Samson Murdoch Freud, born 13 January 2007.
In November 2012, Freud was banned from driving for six months and fined £830 after police caught him driving at 117 mph (188 km/h) in a borrowed Ferrari on the M5 motorway. His son was asleep in the front of the car at the time of the offence. Exeter Magistrates' Court was told that he had already incurred nine penalty points on his driving licence in the previous three years - two fixed penalties for speeding and one for using a mobile phone while driving.
He is a friend of several members of the Conservative party, including George Osborne and David Cameron. Freud has also invited Cameron to many events and is part of the so-called 'Notting Hill Set' of influential Conservative-linked figures. Murdoch and Freud own Burford Priory, in Oxfordshire, and are also considered members of the Chipping Norton set.
- "Freud Communications". Freud.com. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- "BBC Four - Storyville". Bbc.co.uk. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- Danny Rogers (25 March 2009). "Power Book top ten PR gurus revealed". Prweek.com. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- Comic Relief - Trustees.
- "Piers Morgan clinches Press Gazette deal", Journalism.co.uk, 13 June 2005.
- Julia Day, "Piers Morgan turns proprietor with purchase of Press Gazette", The Guardian, 28 May 2005.
- 2006 British Press Awards.
- Daily Telegraph, 24 January 2006 - Money.
- Teather, David (18 August 2001). "A private affair as golden couple keep wedding out of limelight". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2009.
- Gosden, Emily (5 October 2014). "Elisabeth Murdoch and Matthew Freud to divorce". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
- "Matthew Freud banned for driving at 117mph with son". www.bbc.co.uk. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- Caroline Dewar (5 March 2012). "Who's who in the Chipping Norton set". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- Freud Communications official website.
- Matthew Freud collected news and commentary at The Guardian.
- Matthew Freud collected news and commentary at The Independent.
- Matthew Freud collected news and commentary at The London Evening Standard.
- Matthew Freud collected news and commentary at The Times of India.
- Follow-Up: Roger Ailes on Matthew Freud, The New York Times, 13 January 2010.
- Matthew Freud Is The Most Powerful PR Operator In The UK, Danny Rogers, PRWeek, 18 May 2011.