Kate Winslet will never forget escaping the inferno that destroyed Richard Branson's private Caribbean home. On Wednesday, August 24, just days after she and around 20 other guests survived the nightmare, the Hanna Schmitz of "The Reader" spoke about the experience for the first time to Mirror Newspaper.
"I'm just so glad that everyone is safe," the 35-year-old said. "And this very easily could not have been the case. 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.' "
Kate was staying at Richard's Great House on Necker Island with her boyfriend Louis Dowler and her two children, Mia and Joe, when lightning strike from Hurricane Irene set the house ablaze early Monday morning, August 22. The Oscar winner and her family escaped without injury, and she even managed to save Richard's 90-year-old mother from the fire.
It was Richard himself who confirmed Kate's bravery act in saving his mother. When recounting what happened on his official website, the Virgin Group boss wrote, "many thanks to Kate Winslet for helping to carry my 90 year mum out of the main house to safety - she was wondering when a Director was going to shout CUT!"