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Petra Ecclestone's fiancé says living in California mansion was BORING

by Gloria Ramaciotti (2020-07-06)


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Petra Ecclestone's ex-electrician fiancé has said living in a lavish $85million Californian mansion, which had a wine cellar and bowling alley, was 'exhausting'.

Sam Palmer, 37, lived in the 123-room French chateaux-style Spelling Manor with the wealthy Formula One heiress after she divorced her first husband in 2017.

Bernie Ecclestone's daughter, who is worth an estimated $400million, sold the 56,500 sq ft house for an undisclosed sum to a Saudi buyer last year. The pair then downsized to a 17,000 sq ft house in Brentwood, LA.

Reflecting on his time at the property, which is complete with a salon, wine cellar and bowling alley, Mr Palmer compared the vast estate to Disneyland.

In an interview with , the British former electrician compared the vast estate to Disneyland but said living there was 'exhausting'. 

Sam Palmer, 37, lived in the 123-room French chateaux-style Spelling Manor with the wealthy Formula One heiress after she divorced her first husband in 2017

Ms Ecclestone, who has been locked-down in London, bought the house for $85million in 2011 and hired 500 workers to carry out extensive refurbishments

'It's a lot of walking,' Mr Palmer said. 'Everything is far away. 

'Even to just go a couple of rooms down. For me personally, I don't think anyone should live in a house that big. I used to always think, it doesn't matter how big the house is, you can only sit on one couch and you can only watch one TV.' 

He went on: 'I'm a person who's not really overawed. But when you see this property, it's insane. It always reminded me of Disneyland when we opened the gates.'

Mr Palmer noticed how bills for work done at the house were inflated by builders, claiming: 'Being in that house is like having a bull's-eye on your back.

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'The price is one price when they're driving to the job, and then 50 times more when they see the house. It can spiral out of control.'

Ms Ecclestone's fiancé cut the property's running costs by 50 per cent and replaced the staff, before running the household himself. 

He compared the running house to operating a hotel, requiring caretakers, butlers, security staff, laundresses, house managers and gardeners. 

The estate, on a hilltop plot once owned by Bing Crosby, was built in 1988 for Aaron Spelling, a TV producer whose credits include Dynasty and Charlie's Angels

The pair met through a mutual friend in 2017 and have a young daughter together.

Ms Ecclestone, who has been locked-down in London, bought the house for $85million in 2011 and hired 500 workers to carry out extensive refurbishments. 

At one time, Spelling Manor was the most expensive house in the US.

The estate, on a hilltop plot once owned by Bing Crosby, was built in 1988 for Aaron Spelling, a TV producer whose credits include Dynasty and Charlie's Angels. 

Candy Spelling, his wife, described it as the 'greatest entertainment house ever', with a 'kitchen where you can cook for two - or 800'.