Divorce costs former Beatle McCartney $48.7 million

Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:47pm EDT
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By Paul Majendie

LONDON (Reuters) - A British court ordered former Beatle Paul McCartney on Monday to pay his estranged wife Heather Mills 24.3 million pounds ($48.7 million) after an acrimonious divorce battle.

The settlement was only a fifth of the sum she had sought but she still ended up with the equivalent of about $34,000 for each day of her four-year marriage to the pop icon.

Speaking after the judge's ruling, Mills said: "I am so glad it is over. It is an incredible result in the end.

"We are very, very pleased," she added. "I am so, so happy with it." McCartney declined to comment.

McCartney, 65, married the former model and charity campaigner Mills, 40, in 2002 but they separated four years later, blaming media intrusion into their private lives. They have a daughter, Beatrice, aged four.

Following one of the most bitter divorce battles in showbusiness history, the couple failed to reach an agreement after six days in court last month, leaving the judge to set the final figure.

Mills criticized McCartney's lawyer Fiona Shackleton, accusing her of handling the case badly.

She said Shackleton, who also represented heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles in his divorce from Princess Diana, "has called me many, many names before even meeting me, when I was in a wheelchair."   Continued...

<p>Heather Mills and Paul McCartney are seen in a combination photo as each arrives at the High Court in London on March 17, 2008. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty</p>