London, England - She has just lost a High Court battle over custody of a 320km/h supercar she gave an ex-boyfriend as a birthday present.
But what better way for Tamara Ecclestone to put all that unpleasantness behind her than going shopping for a brand new one.
And a lime green Lamborghini Gallardo worth about £170 000 (R3.03 million) seemed to be taking her fancy when she popped into a car dealership in London on Monday.
Her shopping trip followed a court ruling that her ex-boyfriend Omar Khyami had been given the £380 000 (R6.77 million) Lamborghini Aventador as a gift – and had not ‘stolen’ it from her as she had claimed.
Miss Ecclestone, 29, daughter of Formula One tycoon Bernie, gave the car to Khyami after they had dated for two years in April 2012. But three months later their love turned sour when a videotape of him having sex with another woman was sent to her father. She took the car back but, unbeknown to her, Khyami had used it as security for a £250 000 (R4.45 million) loan to pay for a white Bentley he had bought for her as a Christmas present.
“She gave it to him as a gift and he effectively pawned it.”
A source said: “She was horrified to find out he hocked it behind her back and got a quarter of a million pounds.”
Following their split, Ecclestone took the Lamborghini, although Khyami insisted it was his. But when she had it serviced, the car was seized by County Court bailiffs acting for Elite Performance Cars. Khyami had used it as security for a £250 000 loan with Elite and was being charged £25 000 (R445 000) a month interest. It was agreed that he could still use the car but as the debt spiralled out of control, it was seized on behalf of Elite as part payment.
Elite then sold the car on to Ansol Trading, which planned to sell it to a buyer outside the UK - until Ecclestone won an injunction to stop the sale. After months of legal wrangling, a written judgment was handed down by the High Court on Monday in which Mr Justice Dingeman said the heiress was ‘wrongful’ to interfere with the sales and he was satisfied the car had been a gift to Khyami.
Ruling that she pay a total of £22 500 (R400 000) damages to the two car firms, the judge said: “It might be noted that the car has caused everybody far more trouble than it is worth.”
A spokesman for Ecclestone, who married last year and is expecting a baby, said: “The judge was right when he said the car had been more trouble than it was worth.”