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  • McCartney, Mills judgment in full - Part 2
  • Herald Sun
  • 19/03/2008 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: admin ( 27 articles in 2008 )
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16.But I regret to have to say I cannot say the same about the wife's evidence. Having watched and listened to her give evidence, having studied the documents, and having given in her favour every allowance for the enormous strain she must have been under (and in conducting her own case) I am driven to the conclusion that much of her evidence, both written and oral, was not just inconsistent and inaccurate but also less than candid. Overall she was a less than impressive witness.

17.The husband's background needs little exposition. He is, and has been for many years, a world famous musician, composer and singer. He is an icon to millions of people. He married Linda, who had a daughter from her first marriage, whom the husband subsequently adopted. He and Linda had 3 children, Mary, Stella and James. In 1998 Linda died of cancer. I have no doubt that he was deeply upset by her death. He is now 65 years old.

18.The wife, who is now 40 years old, spent much of her childhood in Northumberland. She seems to have had a rather troubled childhood. When she was 14 years old she had to move to live with her mother in London. She left her mother's home aged 15. She took a number of jobs.

19.When she was 17 years old she started modelling. After a modelling competition she got a job presenting a TV series. More modelling jobs followed. When she was 20 years old (1988) she went to live and work in Paris.

20.In 1989 she married. The union was childless. She and her former husband ultimately divorced. She learned to ski and became an instructor. She learned to ski in Slovenia.

21.During the crisis that affected the old Yugoslavia the wife became appalled by the fighting and the terrible injuries suffered particularly by the civilian population. She became heavily involved in charitable works joining convoys of trucks taking food and clothing to Croatia. She became very conscious of the terrible injuries inflicted by landmines. She saw a number of people who had lost limbs, particularly legs.

22.In 1993 her trips to Croatia diminished as her modelling career in the UK began to prosper. At paragraph 26 of her affidavit of 30 January 2008 she says:

"In early 1993 my trips to Croatia became less and less frequent, as my modelling career in the UK began to take off. I got work modelling all over the world including in the Bahamas, Malaysia, America and the Middle East. I won lucrative contracts with Marks and Spencers, River Island and Slix, the swimwear company ....

I believe I was earning at that time in the region of 200,000 per annum. I do not have my tax returns although I did request the same from the Inland Revenue who informed me by letter that they are not available...."

23.On 8 August 1993 she was on a zebra crossing in London and was unfortunately hit by a police motorcyclist. Her left foot was severed above the ankle. She suffered head injuries, cracked ribs, a punctured long and multiple fractures of the pelvis. Her left leg was amputated 6 inches below the knee. In October 1993 she underwent another operation which shortened her leg still further but still below the knee.

24.The wife says that, following media enquiries, she gave interviews and earned about 180,000 in 10 days. She wrote a book "Out on a limb", the proceeds of which were donated to transport artificial limbs to Croatia. She says that thereafter she did much public speaking and her earnings were in the range of 300,000 per annum.

25.She became involved in fundraising for a number of charities - see in particular her description at paragraph 32 of her affidavit. She continued to do an enormous amount of charitable work in particular being involved in transporting artificial limbs to Croatia. She was by now, she says, an established public speaker.

26.At paragraph 45-47 of her affidavit she says:

"After my accident in 1993, I raised money through public speaking in aid of charities. I became one of the top 10 female speakers in Europe. Between 1993 and 1999 when I met Paul my income spiralled for example in 1997 I had a modelling contract for 750,000; I wrote, with a ghost writer, a best selling autobiography called Out on a Limb and in the year prior to marrying Paul I earned $1,000,000 for 14 days work. In order to support myself and to help with my charity work, I did a lot of television presenting, for example, Good Morning with Anne & Nick, Keanu Reeves interview, BBC TVAM, Chill Out With Heather series (where I interviewed a number of well known people), The Holiday programme, Wish You Were Here, Travelogue, First Say (after Panorama show), radio hosting, The General hospital, Richard and Judy, etc etc the list is endless. I also continued modelling. I would contribute a lot of my earnings to charity....

Before I met Paul in 1999, examples of my work included:

a.That's Esther Show with Esther Ranzten - I was a co-presenter, making and presenting reports. I did approximately 25 programmes focusing on the struggles of amputees, and the quality of services available to them, as well as other issues such as chip pan fires, police sirens, male nannies, safe children's playgrounds, waste pickers in Cambodia;

b.Panorama - I worked as a senior producer making programmes called 'First Say' concerning issues such as Clinton's impeachment, European working time directive and Prince Charles 50th birthday; This was the flagship's commission for the digital channel 'Choice' on the BBC. My role involved producing, researching scripting, directing and presenting.

c.Travel programmes - I was a presenter on Summer Holiday, Wish You Were Here and Travelog;

d.The General - I was a presenter on this programme based in Southampton General Hospital which was broadcast live five days a week;

e.Pebblemill - Chill Out with Heather series and Croatian documentary

As mentioned previously, before I met Paul, I was speaking all over Europe and was considered one of the top ten female public speakers in Europe. I would speak on the same bill with eminent individuals such as Mark McCormack, Neil Armstrong and others. I commanded a fee ranging from 10,000 to 25,000 for a one hour speech ...."

27.She thus asserted at paragraph 48:

"The assets I held at the time that I met Paul included the following:

a.A penthouse flat in Piccadilly worth approximately 500,000;

b.A property on Cross Street in Brighton, worth 250,000.

c.I rented a 5 bedroom barn in Hampshire, at a cost of 750.00 per month. I had maintained a London apartment and a country property since 1992. An example of this is attached....

d.I also owned a Green Mercedes, a Saab, and then a Rover as, I was sponsored by Saab and Rover. I also had my own driver, Trevor, and a free Saab limousine ....

e.I often lent money to friends, as I could afford to do so. An example of such loans is shown in my Form E.

I was wealthy and financially independent in my own right prior to our marriage."

28. 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. I do not doubt her commitment to charitable causes. She is passionate about them, particularly those that involve working for, and with, amputees. The DVDs shown to me in court amply bear that out. I do not doubt that she modelled successfully and was a public speaker. But the investigation in this case of her assets and earnings as at 1999 when the parties met do not bear out her case.

29.The penthouse flat in Denman Street was not worth 500,000 in 1999. She sold it on 20 March 2001 for 385,000 after the London property market had risen substantially since 1999. She did not in 1999 own the property in Cross Street in Brighton. That was not bought until March 2000 when she gave up her property near King's Somborne in Hampshire.

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