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Former soap star Samantha Rowley denies being with James Stunt just for his billions
He's the billionaire playboy who branded ex-wife Petra Ecclestone a “C-list celebrity’s daughter” and called her dad Bernie a “little dwarf.”
But in an exclusive interview today the new girl on the arm of James Stunt insists the 35-year-old businessman is “misunderstood.”
Speaking about their relationship for the first time Samantha Rowley, 24, insists: “James has a big bank account.
“But he also has a big personality and a big heart.
“I’m no gold digger. The term is derogatory to women and sadly often comes from other women.”James Stunt pictured while dining out with Samantha at Nobu in Mayfair this month (Image: Will/GoffPhotos.com)
They have been out together and Sam was spotted with a diamond ring on her engagement finger.
The ex-soap actress says it’s too soon to talk of marrying anyone but confirms they are “very close” despite different backgrounds.
Stunt – worth £4billion – owns over 200 luxury cars and art by Monet and Picasso.
Sam, who has a son aged five, was brought up by her teacher mum and firefighter dad in Bexley, Kent.
She says of James: “He has sharp and very eccentric mind. Wealth is a blessing and a curse. It’s hard to get the balance right and be truly happy.James with his ex-wife Petra Ecclestone, who he publicly slammed after their split (Image: FameFlynet UK)
“He’s a lovely guy, generous and kind. We’ve helped each other through emotional times.”
James and Petra, who have three children, divorced in October after six years together.
During the £5.5billion divorce from F1 tycoon Bernie Ecclestone’s daughter, Petra told a court Stunt was “abusive, violent and took overdoses” – claims he strongly denies.
Stunt is known for his bad boy persona and is godson to money launderer and alleged gangster and Terry Adams.
But Sam says: “He doesn’t put on a persona. What you see is what you get.Samantha Rowley as Claire Cunningham on Hollyoaks in 2005 (Image: Channel 4)
“He’s been painted as the baddie but he’s a kind-natured person going through the same emotional upheaval anybody else with children goes through when divorcing.”
Sam also spoke out about being trolled for working as a dancer at Spearmint Rhino after losing her role as Clare Devine in a Hollyoaks cull in 2005.
She says: “At the tender age of 18 I fell on hard times. I had too much pride to go home to my parents.
“A friend told me about a job in this club and I thought ‘Why not?’
“The rules were strict. It forced me to have confidence and the other women there inspired me. I’m certainly not ashamed of it.”
Sam is giving her fee for this story to Home-Start Barnet women’s refuge.
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