Well, Formula 1 heiress Petra Ecclestone has to be counting her lucky stars these days for having divorced her ex and baby daddy James Stunt. He has a long history of erratic behavior, which we will get into shortly, but now he's been charged with what in the U.S. would be two felony counts for money laundering and forgery. The former art collector and gold bullion trader was charged after a thorough investigation by the West Yorkshire Police. A court date has been set for July 9.
Stunt took to social media to defend himself, calling the charges the "biggest miscarriage of justice." He went on to say "Forgery FYI is my PA with my permission using my signature on my own cheque on my own personal account lmao…"
We're not sure we're buying Stunt's claims of innocence. He's shown his character a number of times over the past several years. In 2017, Ecclestone locked herself in a bathroom in the then couple's shared $87.6 million London Mansion due to a violent fight with her then-estranged husband. Stunt is reportedly well known for his temper and short fuse. During a preliminary hearing for the couple's divorce, Stunt referred to his billionaire ex-father-in-law Bernie Ecclestone as a certain crude four-letter word that starts with a "c."
Ecclestone is no fan of his former son-in-law either. He has referred to Stunt as erratic and said that he once threatened to blow Petra's head off during an argument. After Petra locked herself in the bathroom, police arrived at the house, she was shaken up but thankfully not harmed.
The former couple met on a blind date in 2006. They married in a lavish, $15 million event in Italy in 2011. Stunt signed a pre-nup worth a bit more than $17 million.
The former couple has a daughter and twin sons. Petra was granted sole custody of their three children.
In 2018, James Stunt's assets were frozen and he was declared bankrupt with debts of more than $6.2 million. His $13.6 million luxury cottage in Belgravia, central London, was repossessed along with two other flats, each worth $6.2 million. Then, later that year, Stunt reported that he was robbed of nearly $126 million in cash, gold, and gems from his London home. Apparently, Stunt had recently moved into the Belgravia area home and had not yet had time to install a security system. The items were reportedly stolen from his safe, which was located in the basement of the home. Stunt reported the robbery on December 14th. He allegedly considers it an inside job and suspects one of his five security guards, butler, or other domestic staff. There was no evidence of a break-in. In fact, his former bodyguard, who was on duty all night on the night in question told the press that Stunt was lying and there was no break-in, which is another black mark on his character.
Additionally, that same bodyguard also revealed that Stunt allegedly paid him to provide a urine sample for Stunt so that he could cheat a drug test and see his children.
Then, in the fall of 2019 Stunt was accused of loaning forged paintings to Prince Charles' foundation. A few months later, he was accused of attempting to borrow $51.7 million against these same paintings. This led to speculation that the loan to Prince Charles was in order to increase the value of these works by displaying them in the Dumfries House, where Prince Charles's foundation is located. The three allegedly forged paintings were part of a group of 17 works that some time ago were loaned to Dumfries House for a period of ten years, and were supposed to be the work of masters Monet, Picasso, and Dalí. But an American artist named Tony Tetro claims to have painted the three works himself, bringing his claims to the press and causing the paintings to be removed from public display.