Petra Ecclestone relocated her family to Los Angeles as she no longer felt safe at her luxury London home. The F1 heiress has revealed how talking to other parents about rising levels of crime on the UK’s streets helped convince her to move stateside with her children. She is looking to sell her multi-million pound mansion in Chelsea and live permanently in the US with new boyfriend Sam Palmer.
Petra Ecclestone moved to the US as she could no longer tolerate how dangerous London had become. Petra with Sam Palmer at a VIP event in London earlier this year The F1 heiress is set to move permanently to her sprawling 57,000 sq ft mansion in Hollywood after becoming concerned by rising knife crime and robberies in the UK Speaking to the Sunday Times magazine, Petra said she could no longer tolerate how dangerous it feels living in the capital. ‘It’s crazy how unsafe the UK has become — so much more so than 10 years ago,’ she said. ‘Talking with mums at school, there have been so many incidents, so many attacks, robberies, knives during the day. You don’t feel safe walking around the neighbourhood.’ She now employs four bodyguards as a result, including one to protect herself and one her for her three young children Lavinia, five and twins James and Andrew, three.
There is substance to Petra’s comments which come weeks after it was found London homicide rates have soared to their worst level since 2008. An 18-year-old stabbed and left to die on a street in Camberwell on July 26 was thought to be the city’s 90th victim of the year. In affluent West London where she stayed, a 42-year-old father-of-three was stabbed to death in May after refusing to hand money over to thugs who attacked him on ‘millionaire’s row’ in Kensington. The growing rates of violence prompted US president Donald Trump to criticise London’s knife crime epidemic during an NRA rally in May. His comments appeared to reference a Mail Online article featuring an NHS surgeon who said treating children for knife wounds in London had turned the hospital into ‘an Afghan war zone’. Father and ex-F1 boss Bernie once fought off burglars at their Chelsea home to protect wife Slavica when Petra was aged eight ‘(Londoners) don’t have guns, they have knives and instead there’s blood all over the floors of this hospital,’ Trump said, defending America’s gun ownership laws. ‘They say it’s as bad as a military war zone hospital.’
In 2016, Petra’s Chelsea property was attacked by youths who launched a petrol bomb that exploded on her driveway just metres from a Range Rover. She increased security at the home located on one of the UK’s most expensive streets that she used to share with ex-husband James Stunt following the incident.
A few years beforehand a man posing as a Kazakh oligarch lifted ‘irreplaceable’ gems worth £450,000 from the house. The conman, who also took heart-shaped earrings worth £400,000 and a £50,000 diamond-encrusted Rolex, was jailed in 2014. Petra was left ‘traumatised’ and put the 10-bedroom house on the market, according to reports. Petra will take her three children to live in the United States with new boyfriend Sam Palmer, who she coupled with after an acrimonious divorce from James Stunt Stunt himself claimed earlier this year he was victim of the UK’s biggest ever burglary by thieves ‘who stole £90M of cash, gold and gems from safe at his Belgravia mansion’.
In Petra’s latest interview, she also recalled how former F1 boss and father Bernie fought off burglars in a life-scarring event when she was just eight-years-old. She woke to policemen in her house and blood on the floor after thieves attempted to harm her mother Slavica. The memory still affects her to this day, she added. After an acrimonious £5.5 billion divorce battle with Stunt this year, Petra says she will now live with their three children at her sprawling 57,000 sq ft mansion in the US. Stunt was alleged to have been violent and abusive during his six-year marriage to Petra.
The Hollywood home was formerly owned by 90210 producer Aaron Spelling and is the largest house in Los Angeles county. A divorce hearing last year revealed allegations that gold bullion trader Stunt, 36, was abusive, violent and took overdoses during their six-year marriage. Petra was granted full custody of their children. Official statistics indicate the number of killings in England and Wales has increased by 12 per cent over the past year while knife crime has gone up 16 per cent. Police registered 40,147 crimes involving a knife or sharp instrument in the year to March.