Revealed: F1 tycoon Bernie Ecclestone SUES former son-in-law James Stunt over £89k soured ‘gold coin business deal’ – six months after bitter multi-million pound divorce from Petra
- Bernie Ecclestone is taking his former son-in-law to court saying he’s owed £89k
- Billionaire Bernie’s firm Formula One World Championship Ltd is demanding he repay the money from a souvenir coin business deal
- Mr Stunt famously called Bernie ‘a dwarf’ during his acrimonious divorce from F1 heiress Petra Ecclestone last year
- Legal battle came to light at a bankruptcy hearing for Mr Stunt at the High Court today where his landlord was demanding £19,500 in unpaid rent
Bernie Ecclestone is suing his former son-in-law James Stunt over an alleged debt of £89,000 as their frosty relationship plunged new depths, it was revealed today.
Billionaire Bernie’s company wants the 37-year-old gold bullion trader to pay back cash it’s owed over a business deal to make souvenir coins.
Mr Stunt famously called Bernie ‘a dwarf’ during his acrimonious divorce from F1 heiress Petra Ecclestone last year.
And now Bernie’s Knightsbridge-based firm Formula One World Championship Ltd – which sells commercial rights and licenses to Formula One – is demanding money it’s been asking for since October.
Speaking today Bernie, 88, said the matter may have been to do with ‘gold coins’ Mr Stunt had planned to produce with the company’s name.
Bernie Ecclestone is suing his former son-in-law James Stunt over an alleged debt of £89,000 – six months after Mr Stunt’s divorce from Bernie’s daughter Petra (pictured with her father)
Billionaire Bernie’s firm wants 37-year-old gold bullion trader Mr Stunt (pictured last year outside his divorce hearing) to pay back cash it’s owed over a deal to make souvenir coins
‘If I remember rightly, when I was in charge of the company, we’d done a deal when he was a multi-millionaire over some gold coins he was going to make,’ he said.
‘He was going to use the name of the company on the coins. I don’t know what happened to them.’
Their bitter legal battle only came to light today during an insolvency hearing at the High Court involving Mr Stunt.
Mr Stunt’s multi-million pound gold bullion trading firm – Stunt & Co – had been facing bankruptcy over unpaid rent of £19,500.
But the matter was resolved with the businessman paying his debt.
However, lawyers acting for Formula One World Championship Ltd – where Mr Ecclestone is a former director and now Chairman Emeritus – requested that they be made creditors on the winding up petition against Mr Stunt.
A judge adjourned the case until next month for the firm – which sells commercial rights and licenses to Formula One – to build their case against him.
The trader was taken to court because he owed his landlord £19,500 in unpaid rent.
Stunt and Co Ltd, which is worth £4.9 million and has offices in Mayfair, was given 14 days to pay up or face the indignity of his company being declared insolvent by a High Court judge.
Although the matter has now been settled, the bankruptcy proceedings are a dramatic fall from grace for the businessman who was once worth £3 billion and enjoyed all the trappings of the mega-rich.
Following his £12 million wedding to Petra at an Italian castle in 2011, he lived in a £100 million house and drove a fleet of luxury cars including Rolls Royce, Lamborghini and Ranger Rover.
Mr Stunt and Petra had a £12m wedding to Petra at an Italian castle in 2011 before their six-year marriage ended last year in acrimony and she moved to the US with their three children
Mr Stunt has taken out a £6m loan on the Belgravia mansion he bought after the divorce. His battle with his ex-father-in-law came to light at a bankruptcy hearing at the High Court today
Mr Stunt travelled the world by private jet, owned art-works worth millions and donated gold bars at charity events.
However, his life of luxury began to unravel when Ms Ecclestone divorced him in 2017 after six years and has moved to the US with their three children.
The 2018 divorce settlement between the £5.5 billion couple is estimated to have been the biggest in celebrity
Today’s bankruptcy hearing is the latest twist in what both men acknowledge is a difficult relationship between Mr Stunt and his former father-in-law.
In an interview with Tatler magazine last year, Stunt took aim at Mr Ecclestone, referring to him as ‘that dwarf Bernie’ while calling his wife Slavia ‘Lady Macbeth’
Mr Ecclestone later hit back and suggested that drugs were to blame for the breakdown of his daughter’s marriage to Stunt.
He said: ‘He got heavily into drugs and that has changed him and they have taken their toll.
‘It is a great shame as James was a nice man when he got married.
‘I hope he stands out as an example to young people who can see the damage that drugs can do.’