Judge slams Mills's muddled grasp on reality

Arjun Ramachandran
March 19, 2008 - 8:33AM

Heather Mills gives a statement to the media.
Photo: AP

Heather Mills's reputation has been savaged by the judge that presided over her divorce from Sir Paul McCartney, with him describing her as "less than impressive", having a "warped perception" and indulging in "make-belief".

Mills was yesterday awarded 24.3 million ($52 million) in the settlement of her divorce from McCartney after a four-year marriage.

But for Mills, the shine from the hefty settlement was tainted after the release of Justice Bennett's judgement, in which he suggested Mills had a muddled grasp on reality.

"The wife for her part must have felt rather swept off her feet by a man as famous as the husband. I think this may well have warped her perception leading her to indulge in make-belief. The objective facts simply do not support her case."

Justice Bennett also described Mills as "a less than impressive witness".

"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."

The judgement also includes details on the full demands made by Mills, which included an annual claim of 39,000 to buy wine. Alongside this claim the judge noted: "She does not drink alcohol."

Mills's full claim, according to the judgement, was as follows: "She claims for seven fully staffed properties with full-time housekeepers in the annual sum of 645,000. She claims holiday expenditure of 499,000 p.a. (including private and helicopter flights of 185,000), 125,000 p.a. for her clothes, 30,000 p.a. for equestrian activities (she no longer rides), 39,000 p.a. for wine (she does not drink alcohol), 43,000 p.a. for a driver, 20,000 p.a. for a carer, and professional fees of 190,000 p.a."

Justice Bennett also rubbished Mills's claims that she had a personal wealth of 3 million prior to the marriage, describing this as "wholly exaggerated".

"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."

Justice Bennett also weighed in on whether Mills had been a good wife, again questioning her grasp on reality.

"In her final submissions the wife described her contribution as "exceptional". I reject her case. I am afraid I have to say her case on this issue is devoid of reality.

"I have to say that the wife's evidence that in some way she was the husband's "psychologist", even allowing for hyperbole, is typical of her make-belief."

While describing Mills as an "explosive and volatile", Justice Bennett complimented Mills on the strength of her character.

"The wife is a strong willed and determined personality. She has shown great fortitude in the face of, and overcoming, her disability."

Mills described Justice Bennett's judgement as "outrageous", the BBC said.