• No Angel: The Secret Life of Bernie Ecclestone

Ecclestone stung by warts-and-all biography

ESPNF1 Staff
February 17, 2011 « Pirelli boss hits back at critics | »
Tom Bowers' book is published next week © Getty Images

Bernie Ecclestone is reported to be livid over revelations regarding his family in Tom Bowers' No Angel: The Secret Life of Bernie Ecclestone which is published next week.

According to the Times, Ecclestone believes he has been betrayed by the author who he thought had agreed not to delve into his private life. The newspaper says he is so upset that he is considering cancelling invitations to a lavish launch party for the book.

Until now, Ecclestone has managed to avoid any in-depth delving into his private life. In December, Susan Watkins, wife of the former F1 medical delegate Professor Sid Watkins, released Bernie: The Biography but it stopped short of anything too risqué. Despite that, Ecclestone at one point offered to pay for it not be published. Insiders have suggested Ecclestone co-operated with Watkins and Bowers to try to ensure he had some control on the output.

But Bowers has crossed the line in his eyes by revealing in detail some of the less glamorous aspects of his marriage to Slavica, a former model from Croatia 28 years his junior and a foot taller than the diminutive Ecclestone.

A serialisation of the book ahead of publication portrays Slavica in an unfavourable light and suggests she totally dominated her husband. Bowers says the marriage was a battlefield - there are stories of her humiliating Ecclestone in public, on one occasion over dinner loudly proclaiming: "He thinks he is a big man, but he's a dwarf."

Very well, thanks ... now when I wake up in the morning and it's raining, I don't get blamed
Quote attributed to Ecclestone when asked how he was following his divorce

Speaking to the Times, Ecclestone said: "I told Bower that I would answer all of his questions - anything - but the only thing I did not want in the book was my family. Then this happens. I was willing to support him as best I could and I trusted him. I opened doors for him that he would never have had without me and gave him access nobody else has even dreamed of."

In response, Bowers said Ecclestone needed to read the whole book before passing judgment. "Serialisations always seem worse," he told the newspaper. "I stuck to the agreement about his family and I deliberately have not mentioned his daughters at all but I felt this was important material, much of it already in the public domain."