Family Law

Why Heather Mills Got Merely $50M from Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney

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Excepts from a ruling in the divorce case of former Beatle Paul McCartney help show why his estranged wife, Heather Mills, got a little under $50 million. She had reportedly been seeking $125 million from the top pop singing star, who was found by the judge to have a net worth of about $800 million.

Despite her claims, according to Justice Hugh Bennett, Mills did not see her financial future or career prospects blighted as a result of marrying McCartney, whose work in the Fab Four helped make him one of the world’s best-known singers at a young age, reports CNN. Likewise, the judge sided with McCartney in finding that Mills, 40, did not act as McCartney’s business partner during their marriage, which lasted four years before they separated, let alone his “full-time wife, mother, lover, confidante, business partner and psychologist,” adds the Telegraph.

Bennett characterized Mills as a “less than impressive witness” overall, while praising McCartney, 65, who he said was at times justifiably irritated, as “consistent, accurate and honest,” reports Reuters.

Mills did, however, the U.K. newspaper notes, make a “brilliant” suggestion that her husband should wear an acrylic fingernail to protect him from re-injuring a finger while playing the guitar, as both the judge and McCartney himself recognized.

“In my judgment the wife’s attitude, … her open offers, her oral and written evidence, and her submissions is that she is entitled for the indefinite future, if not for the whole of her life, to live at the same ‘rate’ as the husband and to be kept in the style to which she perceives she was accustomed during the marriage,” the judge writes. “Although she strongly denied it her case boils down to the syndrome of ‘me, too’ or ‘if he has it, I want it too.’ … It must have been absolutely plain to the wife after separation that it was wholly unrealistic to expect to go on living at the rate at which she perceived she was living.”

A copy of the complete ruling (PDF) is provided by the Telegraph.

Observers thought Mills might get twice as much, before she divorced her legal counsel in the case. The $48.6 million she won from her own efforts includes a $33 million lump sum; the rest is property. She will also receive $70,000 annually in child support for the couple’s 4-year-old daughter.

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