New 'Dancing' star Heather Mills confident prosthetic leg will stay on
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/01/2007
Upcoming fourth season Dancing with the Starscompetitor Heather Mills doesn't seem too concerned that her prosthetic leg will affect her performance.
"I have no fear. I'm quite happy to be thrown around... and hopefully my leg will stay on," Mills told Extra during an interview broadcast on Wednesday's edition of the syndicated entertainment news television program. "It's very, very unlikely my leg's going to fly off. Even though it would be quite funny to knock one of the judges out."
The 38-year-old was hit by a police motorcycle while crossing a London street in August 1993 -- crushing her ribs and giving her a punctured lung. She also needed a metal plate in her pelvis and had her left leg amputated below the knee.
"We're trying to work out which [leg] is going to work for which heel height, because what people don't realize is that when you have a leg made, it is only made specifically for your height," Mills told Extra. "So you can't go from a high-heel leg and put your [training shoes on]. You got to swap your legs."
According to Mills, it was false media reports that she would be competing on the show that actually led to her joining the cast of Dancing with the Stars' fourth season. "The tabloids wrote 'Heather Mills doing Dancing with the Stars,' and I wasn't," she told Extra. "So then [Dancing with the Stars producers] contacted me and said, 'Well, do you want to do it.' And I said, 'Yeah, great. If it's helping charity, that's great.'"
Despite planning to donate any winnings from Dancing with the Stars to "kids that need artificial limbs" and animal welfare charities, Mills' decision to appear on the reality competition series has reportedly angered some disabled people. According to Britain's Digital Spy entertainment news website, some U.K. organizations feel Mills should "refrain from using her blue disabled badge to park her Mercedes four-wheel drive if she is mobile enough to compete" on Dancing with the Stars. The blue badge parking scheme is the United Kingdom's equivalent to handicap parking placards in the U.S.
"She has mobility and, morally, should refrain from using her blue badge when she doesn't really need to," Kathy Gordon, of the Brighton and Hove Federation of Disabled People, told Digital Spy. But Mills said she wants her appearance on Dancing with the Stars to inspire people, not anger them.
"I'm hoping that people will see you really can do anything you set your mind to," she told Extra.
With a pending divorce from her estranged husband, former Beatle Paul McCartney, Mills said she is looking forward to the opportunity to escape Britain and the constant paparazzi hounding.
"I feel at times like I'm in a prison," she told Extra. "To be honest, in my mad crazy life [Dancing with the Stars is] actually going to be great fun ... like a holiday!"
While Mills said she has "no dancing background and with my leg I can't push it," she added her "natural rhythm is coming in handy." Currently practicing her moves at home with her three-year-old daughter Beatrice -- who "loves to do pirouettes" -- Mills is also fine-tuning her skills throughout the day.
"I'm trying to practice while I'm going down the supermarket aisle... looking like a crazy woman," she told Extra.
If her lack of experience and prosthetic leg won't slow Mills down, the former model said there is one aspect of Dancing with the Stars that worries her: those revealing outfits.
"I'm hitting 40. I think I'll keep my tummy covered," she told Extra.