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James Stunt ‘didn’t know forging signature to buy painting was an offence’

SOCIALITE James Stunt has told a court he did not know it was an offence to ask his assistant to forge his signature so he could buy an Andy Warhol painting.

The 40-year-old sent an email to Francesca Sota telling her “please forge my signature” so he could draw £320,000 from one of his bank accounts.

Socialite James Stunt told a court 'I didn’t know this was even an offence'

Socialite James Stunt told a court ‘I didn’t know this was even an offence’Credit: Dan Charity – The Sun

But he said at the time he was “jacked up on morphine” in a US hospital after a tennis injury.

The former son-in-law of F1 tycoon Bernie Ecclestone told Leeds Cloth Hall court: “I didn’t know this was even an offence.

“I didn’t mean forgery.

“I meant, ‘Please make my signature in my name’.”

Stunt is one of eight defendants on trial over an alleged multi-million-pound money-laundering operation.

All deny the charges.

Stunt and Sota also deny forgery.

The trial continues.