Born into abject poverty and a household devoid of affection, F1 czar Bernie Ecclestone has spent his life making money and crushing anyone who’s gotten in his way.
Because he remains emotionally immature, he can’t understand the concept of hurting people. And he's hurt plenty.
With one exception: his wife Slavika - and, by extension, their two daughters (he turned his back on his first daughter at Slavika’s insistence.)
The puzzle, of course, is that Slavika seemed to hate him. Really hate him. An Amazon to his gnome, she would ridicule him in public; who knows what went on in their house?
But he loved her, apparently, and in the mid-1990s, when he had a serious health scare, he set about to ensure that she and the girls would be taken care of in the event of his death.
Various financial advisers and tax experts recommended that he divest his ownership of Formula One to offshore trusts so his family could avoid paying British taxes if he died. So ownership of FOCA Administration Ltd., and Formula One Administration (FOA) was transferred to Petara Ltd., a company owned by Slavika. That happened in 1996.
Now, as we all know, Slavika flew the coop a few years ago and is, presumably, living happily ever after somewhere. And she’s in the money. Boy, is she in the money.
As the Mail online reported recently, daughter Petra Ecclestone borrowed something in the vicinity of $82 million (that's 82 million dollars) to buy a house in Los Angeles. And she borrowed the sum from her Mom, not her Dad. (I wonder if Slavika made her sign a note . . .?)
Mind you, Petra is being married next month and Bernie has shelled out a million British pounds for the Black Eyed Peas to entertain at the wedding. So there's no tag days planned in his future, either.
But look, why don't you read all about it yourself? Click here for the details and photographs - of Petra, her husband-to-be and Bernie and Slavika, in happier times.