Bernie Ecclestone has publicly voiced his support for his daughter Petra’s bid to change her children’s surnames from their father James Stunt’s to her own.  

Petra, 33, is understood to have filed legal documents in a bid change the surnames of her three kids, after which her former F1 boss father, 91, told MailOnline he ‘doesn’t blame her given what he’s associated with’, amid a long-standing feud. 

She wants the Andrew Kulbir Stunt, James Robert Frederick Stunt and Lavinia Stunt’s surnames changed to Ecclestone, according to legal documents obtained by TMZ.

Bernie told MailOnline: ‘I don’t blame her because her ex has not a got a good reputation. It’d be better for the kids to have the mother’s name because the father’s name is not a good one, given what he’s associated with. It’s how she (Petra) feels.’ 

Way back: Bernie Ecclestone has publicly voiced his support for his daughter Petra's bid to change her children's surnames from their father James Stunt's to her own (Bernie is pictured with Petra and James back in 2007)

Way back: Bernie Ecclestone has publicly voiced his support for his daughter Petra's bid to change her children's surnames from their father James Stunt's to her own (Bernie is pictured with Petra and James back in 2007)

Way back: Bernie Ecclestone has publicly voiced his support for his daughter Petra’s bid to change her children’s surnames from their father James Stunt’s to her own (Bernie is pictured with Petra and James back in 2007)

Petra divorced businessman James in 2017 after six years of marriage, and has since had her youngest child Millie, 18 months, with her fiancé Sam Palmer.

Giving reason for the name change, the documents reportedly state: ‘Change and remove last name of absentee father who is subject to regular negative media and tabloid articles and criminal investigation.’

The judge has reportedly not yet ruled on the Formula One heiress’s filing. 

MailOnline has contacted Petra and James’s representatives for comment.

Gold bullion dealer James is awaiting 2022 trials for money laundering, forgery and racially abusing a police officer – which he has denied. 

He has been accused of racially harassing PC Richard Harper at his former £3.9million mansion in Knightsbridge, southwest London, on June 6 last year. 

Hitting back: She wants the Andrew Kulbir Stunt, James Robert Frederick Stunt and Lavinia Stunt's surnames changed to Ecclestone, according to legal documents obtained by TMZ  (Petra pictured in October)

Hitting back: She wants the Andrew Kulbir Stunt, James Robert Frederick Stunt and Lavinia Stunt's surnames changed to Ecclestone, according to legal documents obtained by TMZ  (Petra pictured in October)

Hitting back: She wants the Andrew Kulbir Stunt, James Robert Frederick Stunt and Lavinia Stunt’s surnames changed to Ecclestone, according to legal documents obtained by TMZ  (Petra pictured in October) 

His girls: Bernie is pictured with Petra and her older sister Tamara in 2017

His girls: Bernie is pictured with Petra and her older sister Tamara in 2017

His girls: Bernie is pictured with Petra and her older sister Tamara in 2017 

Stunt was charged with racially or religiously aggravated harassment and one of using threatening, abusive or insulting words to cause harassment or distress.

He was granted unconditional bail, and his trial date was set for July 25 next year, to allow for a previous hearing which he is involved in. 

In February, James ‘absolutely’ denied racially harassing a black Metropolitan Police officer and was told he will have to wait 17 months for his trial.

The businessman is due to appear in court in Leeds in April next year after being charged with money laundering and forgery following an investigation by West Yorkshire Police – all of which he strongly denies.

Battle: The British socialite, 33, wants the surnames of her children - Andrew Kulbir Stunt, James Robert Frederick Stunt and Lavinia Stunt - changed to Ecclestone. Pictured: The three children with Petra, her fiancé Sam Palmer, and their daughter Millie

Battle: The British socialite, 33, wants the surnames of her children - Andrew Kulbir Stunt, James Robert Frederick Stunt and Lavinia Stunt - changed to Ecclestone. Pictured: The three children with Petra, her fiancé Sam Palmer, and their daughter Millie

Battle: The British socialite, 33, wants the surnames of her children – Andrew Kulbir Stunt, James Robert Frederick Stunt and Lavinia Stunt – changed to Ecclestone. Pictured: The three children with Petra, her fiancé Sam Palmer, and their daughter Millie

Appearing at Southwark Crown Court via video-link, he denied causing racially aggravated alarm or distress and a further offence of harassment, and when arraigned on the offence told the court: ‘Absolutely not guilty’.

Karim Khalil QC, defending, requested the court delay the two to three-day trial until a 12-week trial in April next year is completed in Leeds for an unrelated alleged money laundering charge.   

James married Petra Italy in 2011 and they welcomed Lavinia, nine, followed by twins James and Andrew, six, before their divorce in 2017.

James once boasted of being worth £3billion and having 200 luxury cars, but he was declared bankrupt in June 2019. 

Family: Petra is now engaged to fiancé Sam Palmer (both pictured in March 2018), 38, and she welcomed her youngest child Millie, 18 months, with him in April last year

Family: Petra is now engaged to fiancé Sam Palmer (both pictured in March 2018), 38, and she welcomed her youngest child Millie, 18 months, with him in April last year

Family: Petra is now engaged to fiancé Sam Palmer (both pictured in March 2018), 38, and she welcomed her youngest child Millie, 18 months, with him in April last year

Petra is now engaged to fiancé Sam, 38, and she welcomed her youngest child Millie, 18 months, with him in April last year. 

Sam has spoken candidly in the past about his fractious relationship with Petra’s ex-husband James, who has often hit back.

Petra and James’ divorce was finalised in October 2017, after six years of marriage. 

While no details of the settlement were released, it was reported that James signed a £16m prenup, with Petra also awarded sole custody of the couple’s three children.

Moving on: Meanwhile, businessman James is thought to have been with his current girlfriend Helena Robinson for around two years

Moving on: Meanwhile, businessman James is thought to have been with his current girlfriend Helena Robinson for around two years

Moving on: Meanwhile, businessman James is thought to have been with his current girlfriend Helena Robinson for around two years

Meanwhile, businessman James is thought to have been with his current girlfriend Helena Robinson for around two years.

Last year, James thanked Helena for ‘saving his life’ and getting him off drugs.

He said: ‘She saved my life – and is even willing to let me fake credit for my children’s Lego. I’ve never met anyone more beautiful, on the inside and out…

‘She is my Helena of Troy. She saved my life when people who have known me my entire life didn’t lift a finger. She got me off drugs and lit the fire in my soul once again.’ 

According to The Mirror, the couple met in August 2019, and moved into a new home together in September 2020. 

Changes: Petra and James in 2011

Changes: Petra and James in 2011

Changes: Petra and James in 2011

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