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Sunday 23 March 2008

Mills, a vindictive liar living in world of 'make believe'

Lady Mucca's claims were blasted as 'fanciful', and the judge was unstinting in his condemnation of her, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

Someone has to say something nice about Heather Mills McCartney, so here it is: I'm grateful to her for behaving so appallingly that I don't have to put any effort into trying to see her point of view. After all, Judge Hugh Bennett is paid large sums of money to be fair, and he couldn't wait to rubbish her.

I've looked at her website, where she tells us: "I am a woman ... a positive, loving, independent woman who fell in love... like so many other couples, experienced the painful realisation of divorce", for when she's not screaming abuse, Mills talks schmaltz. I looked at as much as I could bear of the Hillary Clinton video tribute to her work on landmines, noting that it was made in 2002, a fact the website doesn't acknowledge. Then, ever selfless on behalf of the readers of this paper, I looked at videos of Mills on YouTube, including the one where she tells the world we should give up cafe lattes and drink milk from rats and dogs rather than cows, and at 'Sex a la Heather Mills -- Lady Mucca', which mixed an old pornographic shoot of hers with shots of herself and her unfortunate husband. I shouldn't rush to see it: like her, it promises but doesn't deliver.

Mills, said the judge, "is entitled to feel that she has been ridiculed, even vilified. To some extent, she is her own worst enemy. She has an explosive and volatile character."

That was about as nice as he got. He must have checked his thesaurus for words that mean lying: she had indulged in "make-believe", had "wholly exaggerated" many of her claims, "which were "inconsistent, inaccurate and less than candid", some of her testimony was "devoid of reality" and her perception was "warped". A few telling specifics were that before her marriage she earned an average of £42,000 (€53,000) a year -- not the £250,000 (€320,000) she claimed -- and that although she said 80-90 per cent of her earnings went straight to charity, there was not a shred of evidence that any did.

Because of all this and more, the judge denied her the £125m (€160m) she wanted and awarded the poor woman only a paltry £24.3m (€31m) .

Mind you, this is where I think the legal profession has itself parted company from reality. Why, after a four-year marriage should this bad-tempered fantasist get a penny from McCartney other than what is necessary to bring up their daughter in comfort? The ghastly bitch hid from him her past as an escort girl and soft porn model, bugged his phone and allegedly secretly taped therapy sessions. He should have called the cops.

So should his lawyer, Fiona Shackleton, over whose head Mills emptied a jug of water after the judgment had been given. "I poured the whole jug of water on her head," she explained. "I was very calm."

Blimey, what does this woman do when she's upset?

What's sad about all this is, of course, the child. McCartney and his wife Linda seem to have been model parents, who sent their children to state schools, looked after them themselves and strained to give them as much as possible a normal life.

He's desperate that Beatrice should avoid a gilded cage, but Mills wants her to have a golden one -- with first-class travel and private schooling. And if that wasn't bad enough, she'll have to spend much of her time with a vindictive fantasist who wanted to be famous but has ended up infamous.

McCartney was taken in by Mills' acting skills: she made a valiant effort to turn herself into a replica of his dead wife, which included becoming a vegan and an animal rights activist. He will not be the first and last widower to have made a disastrous second marriage but the huge publicity over this case -- not to speak of the £24.3m -- might cause a few rich men to think twice before they go down the aisle with a dodgy woman decades younger than them.

McCartney will be fine. His children love him and he still has music. When it comes to the obituaries, Paul McCartney will be seen as a decent man of great gifts and accomplishment, while his ex-wife will go down in history as the most-hated Beatle wife of all. She snatched that title from Yoko Ono and that's a remarkable achievement.

Ruth Dudley Edwards

© Ruth Dudley Edwards