McCartney divorce judge berates Heather Mills

Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:31am EDT
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By Paul Majendie

LONDON (Reuters) - The judge in Paul McCartney's divorce settlement berated the former Beatle's estranged wife Heather Mills for giving "inconsistent and inaccurate" evidence, according to details of the ruling released on Tuesday.

Judge Hugh Bennett, who on Monday ordered McCartney to pay Mills 24.3 million pounds ($48.7 million), said she had conducted her own defence "with courteous, yet steely determination" after earlier sacking her own lawyers.

But in a judgment Mills never wanted to be aired in public, he concluded: "Overall she was a less than impressive witness."

In contrast, the judge praised McCartney for giving balanced evidence during the six-day hearing.

"He expressed himself moderately, though at times with justifiable irritation, if not anger," Bennett said. "He was consistent, accurate and honest," the judge concluded.

McCartney, 65, married the former model and charity campaigner Mills, 40, in 2002, four years after his first wife Linda died of breast cancer.

Mills and McCartney separated four years later, blaming media intrusion into their private lives.

They have a daughter, Beatrice, aged four.   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>