Tamara Ecclestone: 'The day my father threatened to sue me'
She famously claims she wants to step out of her father’s shadow and make her way in her own right. But Formula 1 heiress Tamara Ecclestone has admitted her first business project nearly ended in the High Court when her father Bernie threatened to sue her for using his brand.
Tamara, 26, is launching a range of hair products in a bid to prove she can support herself independently of her father’s £2.5 billion fortune. But Bernie, 82, stepped in when she tried to name the range Formula One.
She said: ‘I originally wanted to call it Formula One or One Formula, because obviously there is quite a link between me and F1 and a formula is something you can put in your hair. I thought my father would be proud of me when he called to ask how the business was coming along.
‘He asked me if I had come up with a name and I told him my idea. Next thing I know my dad is saying he’s going to sue me. ‘He said to me, “Tamara, are you f****** mad? I don’t think you quite understand. People pay me a lot of money to use the F1 name and that logo. It has taken years of work to build up that brand. Did you really think I was just going to give you that name and let you use it?”
‘I said “Err, yes”. I realise now people pay him millions of pounds and have to write him letters asking to use the Formula 1 brand name. So I kind of lost that one, so now it’s going to be called Uno.’
Tamara, who owns a £45 million house in West London’s Kensington, made the comments on her television programme Billion Dollar Girl which launches on Channel Five next month. Cameras follow the socialite-turned-businesswoman and her younger sister Petra, 22, who married in a £5 million ceremony in August.
In the first hour-long programme Tamara is seen missing a crucial business meeting after making an emergency doctor’s appointment when she wakes up with a spot on her chin. She had been meant to visit television shopping channel QVC to market her haircare range.
She is seen saying: ‘I want to step out of my father’s shadow. I know where I am going and I think I am on the right path to go there. But I’ve got a huge great big spot on my chin and I’m supposed to be on my way to QVC. My agent will have to tell them it’s a family emergency.’
After being told she has to choose between the meeting and treatment on the spot, the brunette adds: ‘I want to stay here and have the treatment done but I know I shouldn’t because ultimately my career should come first.’
Tamara also reveals she received an offer to buy her home for 50 per cent more than the £45 million she paid for it – but declined it. The house in Kensington Palace Gardens backs on to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Kensington Palace apartment.
The heiress explains a mystery buyer made the offer because homes in the location very rarely come up for sale. But she says that the luxury property is undergoing extensive renovation which, when completed, will mean the house is worth even more.
She said: ‘We won’t move in until this time next year but it’s worth it. We had an anonymous offer to buy the house which was the price we paid plus more than half on top because houses on that road so rarely come up for sale. But we turned it down because it will be worth even more when the work is done.’
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