Actress and anti-plastic surgery advocate Kate Winslet has spoken for the first time about escaping the fire that destroyed Richard Branson’s Caribbean home this week.
Winslet, 35, was staying at the house on Necker Island, Branson’s private domain in the British Virgin Islands, with her ten-year-old daughter Mia and seven-year-old son Joe, along with 20 other guests who were present when lightning hit the wooden property, setting it ablaze.
According to Branson, who had been staying in a separate villa with his wife and son, Winslet should be regarded as a heroine for her actions – in addition to rescuing her own children, she carried the British billionaire’s 90-year-old mother Eve to safety from the flames.
“I’m just so glad that everyone is safe. And this very easily could not have been the case,” Kate told reporters as she recalled the event, adding “I will never forget Richard placing his arms around both my children as we were watching the flames, and saying, ‘At the end of the day, what you realize is that all that matters is the people that you love. Everything else is just stuff. And none of that stuff matters’.”
Branson – who, after purchasing Necker in 1981, spent three years and approximately $10 million to turn it into a private island retreat – said work to rebuild the house would begin as soon as it was safe to do so.