– by Gavin Edwards, Playboy.com
“I am so proud of this beautiful shoot. As a woman, I believe you have to embrace your body, and feel beautiful both inside and out! … I am extremely honored to be part of this legacy as the magazine’s May cover girl!”
In the U.K., Tamara Ecclestone is known as the Billion $$ Girl. She’s famous as a television presenter, a dashing reality-TV star and heiress to an auto-racing fortune. (Her father, Bernie, is the U.K.’s 12th-richest man, according to Forbes, and the CEO of Formula One, the world’s most lucrative and popular racing circuit.) Tamara is also famous for her jet-setting, her nights out on the town in London, her recent engagement to a stockbroker boyfriend—all delicious tabloid fodder.
So aside from these photos, what else should Americans know about her? “Every time I come here,” Tamara says, “people say to me, ‘Oh, you’re the European Paris Hilton.’” She wrinkles her nose. “I’m the opposite of that.” Tamara says she hits the clubs only one night a week. Her focus is on launching lifestyle businesses in the future. “I know I’m never going to be as successful as my dad,” she says, “but I get bored doing nothing. I couldn’t go from vacation to vacation and have no motivation.”
Tamara, dressed in pink polka-dot pajamas, is sitting on a couch in her deluxe suite at the Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills. Outside her room are multiple layers of private security, dramatically raising the hotel’s quotient of wireless earpieces and glowering expressions. In Los Angeles, Tamara would ordinarily stay with her sister Petra, who bought Aaron Spelling’s mansion two years ago for $85 million—with more than a hundred rooms, it probably has enough space. The best thing about her sister’s house? “Probably her bowling alley,” Tamara says. “Visiting her, I’ve gotten really good at bowling.” But today Petra is back in London, so Tamara will have to wait for another trip to pick up that spare.
So why is she posing for Playboy? For one thing, to please millions of our readers around the globe. “I don’t have a problem with nakedness,” she says cheerfully. Her mother, Slavica, is a beautiful former fashion model from Croatia who did her share of nude shoots back in the day. “She’d be a bit of a hypocrite if she told me not to,” Tamara says.
Tamara’s valuable skin has some discreet tattoos (so discreet, in fact, that you can’t see them here). The most meaningful is a Marilyn Monroe quote: “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” She also has a tattoo of her own name inside a tiara. What’s up with that?
“People always joke that I’m a princess,” she says, flashing her billion-dollar smile. “I thought I’d make the joke first.”
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