Billionaire businessman Richard Branson's mother has opened up about the terrifying moment his island retreat burned down as Kate Winslet carried her to safety.
The Titanic actress and 20 other guests were on vacation at the tycoon's Necker Island retreat in the British Virgin Islands when lightning hit the wooden property and set it ablaze.
Branson has since thanked Winslet for carrying his frail 90-year-old mother Eve to safety, and now she has opened up about the ordeal, detailing how Winslet insisted on making sure she was out of harm's way before setting her down.
She tells Britain's The Mail On Sunday, "It was dark, I had no contact lenses in and couldn't see a thing. The steps were slippery and the rain and wind were lashing down while the fire flourished hot on our tail, smoke and flames chasing us on our way... It was only at that moment I became aware of Kate Winslet and her two children, Mia and Joe, behind me.
"Thankfully, Kate swept me into her arms and we all arrived safely at the bottom of the steps. I had said: 'Come on, Kate. I'm far too heavy for you. Let me do it on my own.' But Kate wanted to help. She said: 'No, you're not too heavy.' How thankful she must have been that I was pretty light, having recently lost a little bit of weight through illness.
"It was pitch dark, pouring with rain and the flames were coming after us. As I looked back over her shoulder, seeing beam after beam collapsing into the raging fire, I felt it was the devil's henchman chasing us."
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