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F1 boss Ecclestone recovering after mugging

By the CNN Wire Staff
A file image of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone from October 21, 2010, a month before he was assaulted in London.
A file image of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone from October 21, 2010, a month before he was assaulted in London.
  • Ecclestone tells a British paper he took a "good whacking"
  • He and his girlfriend were robbed in London this week
  • He is sporting a black eye after being punched and kicked

London, England (CNN) -- Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone took a "good whacking" when he and his girlfriend were violently mugged in London, he tells the Daily Express newspaper Saturday.

"I'm feeling it now, bit painful, it was a good whacking," Ecclestone told the paper in the only interview he has given so far about the ordeal.

The Express carried a picture of Ecclestone with a badly bruised right eye that was purple and swollen.

The attack took place Wednesday night outside his offices in London's exclusive Knightsbridge neighborhood, after he had been to a restaurant with girlfriend Fabiana Flosi, the paper reported.

The muggers punched the 80-year-old billionaire in the face several times and kicked him in the head as he lay on the ground, he said. They also ripped the earrings off his girlfriend's ears.

London's Metropolitan Police confirmed to CNN that a man and woman were robbed of jewelry including two watches and a pair of earrings on Wednesday night. They said officers do not believe the man was targeted because of who he is and that it appeared to be an opportunistic incident."

The man was taken to a hospital for treatment to a minor head injury, the police said.

"I drove as I often do and we had just got out of the car when suddenly these guys laid into me," Ecclestone told the paper. "They said nothing to me, just went on the attack, so there was no chance to feel scared or react.

"When I was on the ground I could hear Fabiana screaming for help and I took a kick or two in the head and went unconscious.

"When I came to there was blood everywhere from my head wound but I was lucky. They weren't worried about taking my eye out or head injuries when they were kicking.

"It was completely stupid and uncalled for. If they had confronted me and asked for everything we had, I would have handed over everything in my pockets, my wallet, anything."

British news reports had said the stolen jewelry was worth several hundred thousand dollars, but Ecclestone denied it, saying, "They won't be going far on what they took off us."

"I never carry much money or expensive jewelry," he said. "Most of Fabiana's stuff was just personal from Brazil and not worth much."

The injuries forced Ecclestone to cancel a shooting trip with Spain's King Juan Carlos I this weekend, he said.

Police were still searching for the suspects.