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Blackmailing Bernie

FOR many years Bernie Ecclestone was little-known to the general public but as Grand Prix racing grew so Ecclestone became more of a public figure. This led to him being robbed outside his house in London in July 1996 and more recently to his becoming embroiled in a scandal over the funding of the British Labour Party. Now it appears Ecclestone is facing blackmail threats from a man who claims to be an old boyfriend of Mrs. Slavica Ecclestone.

He has alleged in a Croatian newspaper that Slavica worked as a high class hooker in the former Yugoslavia and helped the service as "a honeytrap spy". Mrs. Ecclestone was quoted in the Sunday Mirror saying that: "I am not and never was a prostitute." She also denies having worked for the secret services.

The Ecclestones travelled to Zagreb at the start of last week to initiate proceedings against the Croatian newspaper which ran the story and against the Croatian who says he has "very, very nasty pictures" from Mrs. Ecclestone's past. Ecclestone was quoted in the Sunday Mirror as saying: "I wish to God Labour had accepted the 1m I gave them, because since they returned it every nutter in the world wants a piece."

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