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Bernie Ecclestone with his wife Slavica Ecclestone. © dpa

London: In a revelation that has sent ripples through the high-profile world of Formula One, Bernie Ecclestone, the influential figure at the helm of Formula One Management, and his wife, Slavica Ecclestone, have officially parted ways. The couple’s nearly 25-year-long marriage was dissolved by a London court, citing Bernie’s “unreasonable behavior” as the primary cause.

Bernie, 78, and Slavica, 50, were wed in July 1985 and have two daughters from their marriage. The court proceedings, which have attracted considerable media attention, highlighted the stress and anxiety Slavica endured due to Bernie’s conduct. The judge’s ruling stated that Bernie had behaved in such a manner that Slavica could not reasonably be expected to continue living with him, marking the marriage’s irretrievable breakdown.


This high-profile divorce is not just a matter of public fascination due to the couple’s prominence but also because of the unconventional financial aftermath. Bernie Ecclestone, with a reported net worth of $3.1 billion, remarkably received more than half a billion dollars from his ex-wife’s trust fund. This settlement is unusual in the world of high-stakes divorces, especially considering Bernie’s substantial wealth and his array of luxurious assets including private jets, a super yacht, and a chalet in Gstaad.

The underpinnings of this financial arrangement can be traced back to the late 1990s when Bernie, facing severe health issues, transferred his assets into Slavica’s name. This move was primarily a safeguard against hefty British death duties, which stood at 40% at the time. As a result, despite Bernie’s enormous wealth, it was Slavica who appeared wealthier in the eyes of the court, leading to the unique settlement where she pays her billionaire ex-husband approximately $100 million per year.

Bernie Ecclestone, a name synonymous with Formula One, continues to play a pivotal role in the sport, overseeing its commercial rights. His career in Formula One has been marked by transformation and growth, making him one of the most recognized figures in the sport’s history.

The Ecclestone divorce ends a long-standing personal chapter for the couple, both of whom have been in the public eye for decades. While their private lives have often been the subject of media scrutiny, this latest development adds another layer to the complex narrative of their relationship and its impact on the high-octane world of Formula One racing.

As the dust settles on this legal settlement, the focus shifts back to the racetracks where Bernie Ecclestone continues to exert his influence. His legacy in Formula One, both in the boardrooms and on the tracks, remains undeniable, as does the intrigue surrounding his personal and professional life.