Petra granted divorce as £5.5bn fight ends
FORMULA One heiress Petra Ecclestone was granted a divorce yesterday after she and estranged husband James Stunt ended a bitter legal fight over their £5.5billion fortune.
Lawyers revealed a settlement had been reached as the couple, who have three children, were due to begin a two-day battle at the Central Family Court in London.
When told they had come to an ‘extremely desirable’ agreement, Judge Robin Tolson QC granted socialite Miss Ecclestone, 28, a decree nisi. She will be able to apply for a decree absolute, ending the marriage, in six weeks.
Neither Miss Ecclestone, youngest daughter of billionaire Formula One tycoon Bernie Ecclestone, nor gold bullion trader Mr Stunt, 35, was in court for the hearing.
Afterwards, Mr Stunt said in a statement: ‘I am devastated that my marriage has broken down. I love Petra and our children.’
Miss Ecclestone’s father, 86, told Mail Online: ‘I’m just glad it’s over. Petra is too. She has been very tolerant and has been concerned about James. Now we are going for a family meal. No champagne, no big celebration.’
Her sister Tamara, 33, posted her support on Instagram, saying: ‘You’re a diamond dear, they can’t break you.’
No details of the settlement were revealed. Mr Stunt signed a prenuptial agreement worth £16million. The couple’s assets include a £100million Chelsea mansion and a £158million home in Los Angeles.
They met in 2006 and married in 2011 in a £12million ceremony in Rome. But in June they began their court battle which saw Mr Stunt evicted from the Chelsea property.
During a bad-tempered hearing, details of their marriage were laid bare, including allegations that he was abusive, violent and took overdoses.
Bitter courtroom battle: Petra and James Stunt in 2012
Part of the settlement: The couple’s £158m mansion in Beverly Hills