F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone Says He Was 'An Idiot' For Settling Bribery Case
F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said he was "a bit of an idiot" for paying a £60M ($100M) settlement to end his bribery case -- but is "pleased it is over," according to the BBC. The 83-year-old "denied any wrongdoing." His offer was accepted by German prosecutors, with the judge saying the charges "could not be substantiated." Ecclestone said, "They really didn't have a case. The judge more or less said I was acquitted ... so I was a bit of an idiot to do what I did to settle because it wasn't with the judge, it was with the prosecutors" (BBC, 8/6). In London, Josie Le Blond wrote although "slightly lighter in the pocket," given Ecclestone's worth is estimated at about £3B-£4B ($5B-$6.7B), he "was nonetheless relieved that he could put this period of his life finally behind him." Ecclestone: "The bottom line is it's been three and a half years of aggravation, traveling, meeting lawyers, and God knows what else, so it is good it is out of the way. This trial has been going on for two days a week and it was going to go on until October. When you're trying to run businesses it's not easy trying to resolve things when you're dealing with lawyers" (GUARDIAN, 8/5).