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BILLIONAIRE PETRA ECCLESTONE TO DIVORCE HER ALLEGED 'VIOLENT AND ABUSIVE' HUSBAND JAMES STUN


Petra Ecclestone and James Stunt married in an Italian castle and were serenaded by an array of pop stars.

However almost six years after their £12million glitzy fairy-tale wedding, Bernie Ecclestone’s daughter Petra is divorcing her husband James Stunt in what is said could be the biggest settlement in celebrity history.

The youngest daughter of the billionaire Formula One tycoon is embroiled in a bitter battle with her estranged husband over their £5.5billion fortune.

The estranged couple have hired some of the country’s most high profile divorce lawyers to represent them in High Court hearings, which are expected to start next month.

Their £158million mansion in Los Angeles and a Grade II-listed pile in the posh London district of Chelsea – worth up to £100million – are expected to be some of the assets fought over.

Astonishing details of their bitter marriage were laid bare during a highly-charged court hearing yesterday.

The two billionaire heiresses Tamara Ecclestone with her daughter (left), billionaire Bernie Ecclestone and Petra with her daughter

Bernie Ecclestone's daughter Petra divorcing her husband James Stunt six years after they got married in 2011

She married businessman James Stunt in lavish £12million wedding at an Italian castle surrounded by pop stars

The court heard Mr Stunt, 35, was 'abusive, violent and took overdoses' during their relationship

It is reported that father of three James Stunt, 'made a gun gesture' at Central Family Court hearing

Also accused of 'disgraceful' behaviour towards former F1 boss Ecclestone, who was told 'not to respond'

Reportedly the divorce settlement could be the 'biggest in celebrity history', the court heard, with both worth £5.5billion

The couple also bought famous LA property The Manor in 2011 - built for producer Aaron Spelling - for £65million

Petra's elder sister Tamara Ecclestone pictured with her husband Jay Rutland and daughter Sophia

James with his lawyer David Sherborne, right.

Petra's estranged husband James Stunt pictured doing middle finger gesture

Mr Stunt, is a art collector and well-known for travelling around London with a cavalcade of blacked out Rolls-Royce Phantoms, is regularly spotted visiting Harrods and various high-end auction houses like Sotheby's while surrounded by bodyguards.

Reportedly questions have been raised before around the source of Mr Stunt's money, with the businessman known for keeping his life extremely private.

A source previously told the Mail on Sunday his father-in-law had 'no idea where his money came from'.

The businesman, once rumoured to be worth an estimated £3.3billion, was abusive, violent and took overdoses during his marriage to the glamorous heiress, the court heard yesterday.

The pair are believed to have first met on a blind date in 2006. They have three children together - daughter Lavinia, four, and twin sons James Jr and Andrew, who are two.

James Stunt, who runs an international gold bullion firm, was yesterday accused of behaving in a ‘disgraceful’ and ‘unedifying’ way prior to the hearing.

The couple married at the Castello Odescalchi castle in Bracciano, near Rome, in 2011. Petra and James Stunt are pictured here in the Italian capital just days before the nuptials

The couple own a huge mansion in Chelsea, pictured, that Petra Ecclesone purchased for around £69million in 2011 and is now believed to be worth up to £100million

James Stunt with his legal team

They also have a £65million property in Los Angeles, called The Manor, pictured, which was said to have been put up for sale last year for £150million

James Stunt's brother Lee Stunt, pictured, 37, was found dead at his parents' home in Surrey last September and an inquest will take place next month

The Stunts’ divorce looks set to be one of the largest in showbusiness history.

To date, media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s divorce from Anna Murdoch Mann in 1998 has been the costliest, resulting in a reported £400million settlement.

Other princely separations include Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphy, with the latter said to have received half of the singer’s £231 million fortune.

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Petra's legal team contains Baroness Fiona Shackleton, pictured outside the court today

Petra and James pictured when they were still hapily married

Billionaire heiress Petra Ecclestone