Petra Stunt: 'I feel wealth is almost harder than fame, when you are wealthy, people want money out of you'
Petra Stunt has opened up about her life in her first major interview in five years.
The billionaire daughter of former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is in the middle of a bitter divorce with husband of six years James Stunt, with a €5bn fortune at stake.
She refuses to speak about her estranged husband, whom she has three children with, and instead focused on discussing her next chapter with the Telegraph, her first sit down interview in years.
She's well aware of the public perception of her, largely cultivated by her extravagant purchases, including The Manor, a €200m home in Los Angeles and the largest residential property in the state where she lived with James until they moved to their €100m Chelsea townhouse (he was evicted from the property by a judge last week).
"I think people want to be able to hate me. I think that because my father is wealthy and now I am living off his money, they hate it," she told the Telegraph.
But she is trying to change the narrative and her desire for privacy can often lead to misconceptions about her personality, especially in comparison to her sister Tamara, whose €1m bathtub will go down in reality television infamy.
And she keeps her inner circle as small as possible, based on long-lasting friendships with trusted confidantes.
"I keep it really tight-knit. I don’t really let a lot of people in my life," she explained.
"I feel that wealth is almost harder than fame. When you are wealthy, people use you and they want money out of you. There is always some sort of ulterior motive. Whereas if you are famous, people are not going to become famous by being your friend.
"I just feel people become so greedy around wealth. It changes people."
Petra said her main focus remains her three children Lavinia (four) and twins James and Andrew (two), and wants to "make them proud one day" through her work with the Petra Stunt Foundation and her imitative to launch centres around England to focus on early intervention for children with autism and developmental disorders.
Her daughter has global developmental delay, which affects children who are significantly delayed in their cognitive and physical development.
"I am going to make my kids proud one day. Lavinia and the boys are going to know, 'My mum did this for the country, my mum did this for children out there'/ They are going to know I helped someone," she said.
"My mum raised me to treat people with respect and not to judge people on wealth and background. Neither of my parents went to university. They barely went to school, so I feel I don’t judge people."
Meanwhile, it has been reported today that she is trying to get the pre-nuptial agreement she signed before her €12m wedding thrown out, but the details of the agreement have not been revealed yet.
"James suggested we organise this. Neither my father or mother had anything to do with it," she said in 2011.
"We think it’s a sensible decision. In fact, we have signed agreements to protect both my and his assets."
James, an enigmatic art dealer, is said to have amassed billions of his own, is accused of being abusive during the marriage.