This is quite an interesting read about her:
That was 2013.
2014 - Says she is broke and running the teams on personal credit :
‘I’ve lost $40m and even taken $50 from a kid’ by: EXCLUSIVE JAMES PHELPS •From: The Sunday Telegraph •April 06, 2014
Betty Klimenko in the pits during the V8 Supercar meeting at Winton Raceway yesterday. Source: News Corp Australia
IT was a fifty-dollar note that brought the tattooed, blue-haired, daughter of a prostitute and adopted by a multi-millionaire to her knees.
Betty Saunders-Klimenko — the orphan who was adopted by Westfield’s shopping empire co-founder John Saunders — had never cried about money.
Not until now.
“I took the money from a little boy,’’ Saunders-Klimenko said. “He cracked open his piggy bank and handed me every cent he owned. I burst into tears when his dad handed it to me. Here was the spoilt little rich girl taking money from a seven-year-old kid.’’
The colourful, eccentric and undeniably loveable Saunders-Klimenko has revealed she was forced to take out a personal bank loan, understood to be about $10 million, after spending her life savings — a staggering $40 million — on the motor racing team that had made her one of Australia’s most popular female sporting figures.
The colourful, eccentric and undeniably loveable Saunders-Klimenko has revealed she was forced to take out a personal bank loan. Source: Supplied
The owner of the Erebus Motorsport V8 team and the Erebus GT team has revealed she will lose her motor racing empire unless she finds at least two major sponsors after being sent “personally’’ broke.
Saunders-Klimenko is using the “pocket money’’ paid to her from a family trust that is worth almost a billion dollars to service a loan she took out after exhausting her personal wealth to keep the team on the cusp of championship glory alive.
Saunders-Klimenko sold two properties, spent her entire savings and took out a loan.
She also accepted 51 dollars and 50 cents from the little boy who has become her inspiration to risk everything else to save the V8 team that has made this “spoilt rich girl” a “real person”.
“The little boy thought he could save my team with his $50,’’ Saunders Klimenko said.
“I didn’t want to take it but the father said I had to. I was in tears and it humbled me. This sport has humbled me.
I didn’t want to take it but the father said I had to. I was in tears and it humbled me. This sport has humbled me
“I don’t need to go to nice restaurants, I don’t need five houses, and the fans have taught me that. I don’t need the trappings and they have fallen away so fast.”
She is more Broke Betty than Billionaire Betty now.
“The family is very wealthy,’’ Saunders-Klimenko said. “But I now have a personal debt. All the money is family money, not my money, and it is tied up in a trust.
“It is very complicated but it is like getting pocket money. I just get my pocket money but I work for it.
“I am on the board and it is not like I do nothing for it.
“I saved and I saved and I saved and I had a big amount but I got to a point where that amount is nothing. I have spent between 30 million and 40 million (dollars) in a year.
“I also had to borrow at least a third of that amount again from the bank and it has to be paid back. I have nothing left personally.”
But the only thing Betty now needs is her race team and her fans. And that is why tears well in her bright blue eyes as she reveals she will lose both unless she finds sponsors.
“It is easy to make up a story but this is the truth,” she said. “We need money.
“I won’t be here next year if we don’t get a sponsor soon.’’
Saunders-Klimenko does not care about the money she has spent. All she cares about is that little boy and making sure he thinks his $50 saved her race team.
“(The fans) have given me something I have never had in my life. They have changed me,” she said
“And that little boy proved it has all been worth it. If he is willing to give me everything he has then this team must mean something to him. And that is why we need to keep going.’’