Mills-McCartney judgment reveals all

Heather Mills has failed in her attempt to block the publication of the judgment handed down in her divorce from Paul McCartney.

Mills, who yesterday (17th March) was awarded a £24.3m settlement after representing herself in the divorce proceeding, argued that the judgment should not be made public because it would breach privacy legislation.

However, Mr Justice Bennett clearly did not agree and today (18th March) all the gory details of the judgment have entered the public domain.

Mills argued she was of significant wealth prior to meeting McCartney in 1999 but that her marriage to McCartney had damaged her earning potential going forward. She claims this would deprive charities of income as she regularly contributed between 80 and 90 per cent of her earnings to her selected charities.

Under cross-examination Mills revealed for the first time that in addition to property assets she had between £2m to £3m in the bank in 1999.

Bennett J, however, found fault with this assertion. The judge held: “I have to say I cannot accept the wife’s case that she was wealthy and independent by the time she met the husband in the middle of 1999.

“Her problem stems from the lack of any documentary evidence to support her case as to the level of her earnings…”

The judge also ruled that Mills was unable to qualify her claims that she had donated earnings to charity with documentary evidence. “Furthermore,” he added, “her assertion that she gave away to charity 80 per cent to 90 per cent of her earned income is inconsistent with having £2m to £3m in the bank in 1999.”

More tellingly, the judgment revealed that Mills’ tax returns disclose no charitable giving at all.
Divorce lawyers said it was “inevitable” that the judgment would be published despite Mills’ appeal.

Alex Carruthers, partner with specialist divorce firm Hughes Fowler Carruthers, said: “I am unsurprised that she failed. It is unusual for people to bring this type of appeal, but then this is an unusual case. Mills obviously hasn’t had the right advice of what she can and cannot do.”