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Bernie Ecclestone: My daughters are squandering their children's inheritance

By Jo Macfarlane

Golden girls: Bernie with Petra, left, and Tamara, who have dipped into the trust for their extravagant lifestyles

Billionaire Bernie Ecclestone has accused his daughters of squandering the money he set aside to provide for his future grandchildren.

The Formula 1 boss said he had put £3 billion in a trust fund for his glamorous daughters Tamara, 27, and Petra, 22, to invest in property.

But he has now expressed his exasperation that the money has instead been used to fund Petra’s lavish £12 million wedding earlier this year, and to renovate both girls’ luxury mansions to cater to their whimsical, indulgent tastes.

Inside Tamara’s £45 million new London home, for example, is a special shoe storage cabinet on a conveyor rack to house her £700,000 collection, along with a pet spa and swimming pool. Petra’s £50 million Los Angeles mansion has a bomb-proof anti-terror room, a bowling alley and parking for 100 cars – and a whole floor to showcase her designer wardrobe and Hermes Birkin bag collection.

Mr Ecclestone, 81, said: ‘I gave my wife the things that she put in a trust for herself and the children, and the girls have had access to that money.

‘The idea was that they’d buy super-quality property that would be long-term, for their children and everything else.

Looking a billion dollars: Tamara arrives for the Noble Gift Gala in London, which is held in aid of The Eva Longoria Fund, The Great Initiative, and the Seven Bar Foundation

‘It didn’t happen. They haven’t done that. So they’ve had access to money which they’ve spent.

‘And Tamara’s TV programme just wound everything up, because that’s what they wanted.’

The trust is an account known as Bambino Holdings, which contains money Mr Ecclestone made from his ownership of the Formula 1 commercial rights.

Registered to his Croatian ex-wife Slavica Radic, 53, from whom he was divorced three years ago after 24 years of marriage, the trust fund has allowed his girls to indulge their amazingly extravagant lifestyles.

It was Tamara’s three-part Channel 5 reality show, Tamara Ecclestone: Billion $$ Girl, that highlighted her extraordinary free-spending lifestyle which appears dedicated to indulgence. But her father has admitted he could not bear to watch the show and says he warned Tamara not to take part.

He said: ‘I watched one of them. I don’t know if it was the first or the second. Not all of it.

Showcase: Tamara - seen her iwth her new Ferrari - had her extravagant lifestyle showcased in Channel 5 show 'Tamara Ecclestone: Billion $$ Girl'

Pampered: Bernie's daughter pampers her pets

‘I told her, “If you portray yourself really as you are, it’s wonderful. But they aren’t going to let you. They’re going to wind you up, for sure.

'There’ll be things you’d rather they didn’t show that they’ll show, and all the things you’d rather they showed, they won’t. Because that’s the sort of show it is.”

‘I said, “You don’t need the money. I don’t see a lot of reason for it.”

‘But I think that she got talked into it. She believed that the show was going to be about Tamara in normal life.’

No expense spared: Bernie with Petra on her wedding day, which featured an £80,000 Vera Wang gown and music from Eric Clapton

Meanwhile, Petra’s wedding in Italy during the summer included an £80,000 Vera Wang gown, £100,000 on fireworks, and music from Eric Clapton, the American pop group Black Eyed Peas and an 18-piece string section from the Royal Philharmonic.

But as a doting father, Mr Ecclestone has also attempted to justify his daughters’ spending – and his logic is perhaps hard to argue with.

‘I suppose it’s because .  .  . one wonders .  .  . and this is not in her defence – how many other girls her age would do the same if they could?’

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