Monday, February 18, 2008

Paul McCartney “disillusioned” by $110m divorce settlement

Heather Mills and Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney failed to show up for the final round in his High Court hearing with Heather Mills yesterday - because his legal team advised him he could save millions by letting High Court judge Mr Justice Bennett decide on a payout for his estranged wife.

Paul, 65, was advised not to attend Monday's hearing by his legal team - Fiona Shackleton and Nicholas Mostyn QC - as it would probably work out cheaper to let the judge decide how much of the former Beatles' fortune the ex-hooker is entitled to.

Mills was expecting a to walk away with a settlement of around $110m - and turned up fully hoping the deal would be signed shortly after 9am yesterday.

After realizing Paul had "stood her up" at court - Heather - who sources say had been celebrating the imminent deal all weekend, was said to be "incandescent with rage".

Paul is understood to have spent the day in rehearsals for the Brit Awards. He is due to pick up a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony at Earls Court on Wednesday.

Heather, 40, will now face an agonizing wait to discover how much of Sir Paul's estimated $1.6bn fortune she will be awarded after Mr Justice Bennett ruled yesterday that in the peculiar circumstances, he would be reserving his judgment.

An insider told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper yesterday: "Paul pulled the plug very late in the day. Heather is devastated.

"Paul is the one with the fabulously successful legal team and Heather has been working on her wits alone. For them to pull off a stunt like this, they must think they are in a strong position.

"They spent all week in court and Heather perhaps unwittingly spent the week showing her hand.

"Paul's team now look to have played a very clever game, saying 'we'll settle, we'll settle'.

"His team basically now know the worst of what she can throw at him in court. They smoked out the worst she had."

Adds the source: "They are pulling the plug on it because they think the judge may well agree Heather deserves less than the £55million ($110m).

"Shackleton and Mostyn clearly think it's a risk worth taking. And if Paul gets a lower settlement and Heather does win the right to appeal, they now know the worst of what she can throw at them is not much more than has become public anyway.

"Paul was going along with everything all last week. But over the week he was becoming gradually more disillusioned by what was being agreed.

"It was he who pulled the plug. Heather was desperate to settle and had been convinced they had been in total agreement - right up until she arrived at court."

By Owen Williams, Feb 19 2008 © Copyright 2008 - Showbiz Spy

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