Heather Mills

Heather Mills Biography(Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Heather Anne Mills (born 12 January 1968) is an English charity campaigner and former model.

Mills came to public attention in 1993, when a collision with a police motorcycle in London resulted in the amputation of her left leg below the knee. She continued to model using a prosthetic limb and sold her story to a tabloid newspaper, using the proceeds to establish the Heather Mills Health Trust, which recycles used prosthetic limbs to amputees unable to afford new ones and campaigns to remove and ban land mines.

She came to further public attention in 2000 when it was announced that she was dating the former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney. They married in June 2002 and Mills gave birth to Beatrice Milly McCartney on 28 October 2003. The couple separated in 2006 and finalised their highly publicised divorce in 2008.

After her marriage to McCartney, Mills became involved in animal rights advocacy and as of 2012 is a patron of Viva! (Vegetarians' International Voice for Animals) and the Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation. She is also vice-president of the Limbless Association and skis in the British disabled ski team's development squad for the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games, winning several Gold medals in the interim.

Early life

Heather Mills was born in Aldershot, Hampshire, to John "Mark" Francis Mills (a former British paratrooper), and his wife, Beatrice Mary Mills, née Finlay, who was the daughter of a colonel in the British Army. Her father was adopted at age seven and grew up in Brighton, where his foster parents had a grocery shop, although his foster-father also worked as a mechanic for a Grand Prix racing team. Her mother was born in India, during World War II, but was educated at English boarding schools. They met at Newcastle University, and were married against the wishes of Finlay's father, who did not attend the wedding and only saw his daughter once more before he died. Beatrice spoke several languages and played the piano, and Mark played banjo and guitar, liked photography (winning an Evening Standard award), and took part in numerous sports. He was very fond of animals (working for the RSPCA for a time), and Mills remembered her family always having a dog and a cat, as well as once having a pet goose and a white nanny goat that was allowed to roam the house owned by Mark's parents in Libanus, near Brecon. The Mills family spent their holidays in Libanus and also lived there for a time. When Mills was six years old, the family moved north to Alnwick, in Northumberland, but moved shortly after to a block of flats in Washington, Tyne and Wear, and then on to Cockshott Farm, in Rothbury, Northumberland. She attended Usworth Grange Primary school, and then Usworth Comprehensive school in Washington. She visited Usworth Comprehensive in 2003, as guest of honour at a prize-giving event and to support the school against plans for its closure.

Mills later wrote that she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a swimming pool attendant when she was eight years old, but her next-door neighbour, Margaret Ambler, who was sexually abused by the swimming pool attendant, alleged that Mills' story was "nothing what she made it out to be", that Mills was never a victim, and the pool attendant did not commit suicide, as Mills had written. Although having received a letter from Mills offering £10,000 to stop a court case, Ambler complained that the story had caused her deep discomfort by bringing the incident to national attention, so she sued for breach of privacy, accepting an out-of-court settlement of £5,000 in compensation, and £54,000 legal costs.

Beatrice left home when Mills was nine years old, which left her, her older brother Shane, and her younger sister, Fiona, in the care of their father. Mills said that her father once threw her brother against a window for making a mess on the carpet with crayons. The window broke and her brother had to be taken to hospital, where their father explained that the boy had fallen on some glass in the garden. Fiona said: "Our family were always short of money and our father demanded that we find food and clothes so we turned to shoplifting, learnt to hide from the bailiffs and became experts at domestic duties. I'm not ashamed to say that we were forced to steal because when you are a young child, you'd rather do that than face a beating from your father". (Their father disputed his daughters' allegations that he was violent towards them, later releasing home movies of family holidays in Wales, showing Mills playing happily). Mills later wrote that she often stole food from supermarkets as a child: "By ten I was an old hand. Pinching food was really quite easy I discovered". In 2006, she visited the Sainsbury's store in her home town and was refused entry by a member of staff because she had once been caught shoplifting there.

London and modelling

When her father was jailed for 18 months after being convicted of fraud, she left home with her sister to live with her mother and partner (Crossroads actor Charles Stapley), in Clapham, London, although her brother went to Brighton to live with his paternal grandparents. She later wrote that at the age of 15 she ran away to join a funfair, and then lived in a cardboard box under Waterloo Station for four months, although Stapely denied this by saying that she occasionally left home at weekends to travel with a young man who worked for a funfair in London. During her stated period of homelessness, her school records indicate that she and her sister were both enrolled at Usworth comprehensive in Tyne and Wear until April 1983, and then at Hydeburn Comprehensive, in Balham, on 6 June 1983, where they both stayed until 2 July 1984. She remembered that a teacher at the Hydeburn once said, "there's no hope for her at all", and that she left school with no academic qualifications. In the same year, her father had another daughter, Claire Mills, with a new partner. Mills worked for a croissant shop, but was sacked, and vowed "never to work for anyone else again". She later wrote that the owner of a jewellery shop in Clapham gave her a job on Saturdays, but Jim Guy, the owner of Penrose Jewellers, later stated: "Everything she wrote about me was lies, I never gave her a job; she just hung around and made tea. She told me her father was dead. The only thing that was true was she nicked stuff from the shop", which Guy said was worth £20,000. She admitted that she had stolen some gold chains and sold them to buy a moped, and when Guy reported the theft, she was put on probation.

She was reconciled with her mother in 1989, but Beatrice died shortly after, during surgery for a minor thrombosis operation. Mills then worked at a casino, a sunbed salon, and the Bananas cocktail bar in London.

Alfie Karmal (the son of a Palestinian father and Greek mother), was ten years older than Mills when they met in 1986, while she was working as a waitress at the Bananas cocktail club in Wardour Street, London. Karmal bought her new clothes, Cartier jewellery and paid for cosmetic surgery when she complained that her breasts were sagging. She later said that she had had a breast reduction operation, reducing her bra size from a 34E to a 34C. She reached the final of the Cinzano Model of the Year Competition, so Karmal, who had moved into the computer industry, set up a model agency for her, ExSell Management, although it was not successful. Mills later tried to sell it for £5,000 but could not find a buyer. In 1987, Mills went to live in Paris, telling Karmal that a cosmetics company had given her a modelling contract, but became the mistress of millionaire Lebanese businessman George Kazan for two years and took part in a photo session for a stills-only German sex education manual called Die Freuden der Liebe (The Joys of Love), in which she was photographed explicitly simulating sex with an equally nude male model, Peter Wilson. She received about £150 for the session. She also modelled for full-frontal nude photographs.

After returning to London, Mills asked Karmal to marry her. Karmal said yes, but on one condition: "I told her I couldn't marry her until she did something about her compulsive lying, and she agreed to see a psychiatrist for eight weeks. She admitted she had a problem and said it was because she'd been forced to lie as a child by her father". Mills had told Karmal that she had a driving licence, and three A-levels, which Karmal later learned was not true. On 6 May 1989, Mills married Karmal (who had two sons from a previous marriage), and moved into a four-bedroom house in Dobbs Weir, Hertfordshire. Although Mills proposed to Karmal, she later said that every man she has been out with "has asked me to marry him within a week". While married to Karmal, she suffered two ectopic pregnancies, so Karmal paid for her to go on holiday to Croatia with his children and ex-wife (with whom Mills had become friends), in 1990, but Mills ended up living with her ski instructor, Milo? Poga?ar, shortly before the Croatian War began. Mills then set up a refugee crisis centre in London, helping over 20 people to escape the war. She drove by herself to deliver donations to Croatia, taking modelling assignments in Austria on the way to pay for the trip, later saying that she "worked on the front line in a war zone in the former Yugoslavia for two years where there were mines everywhere that weren't marked". Karmal and Mills were divorced in 1991, and Karmal now lives in Vancouver, Canada. Mills was later engaged to Raffaele Mincione (a bond dealer for the Industrial Bank of Japan) in 1993.

Accident and amputees

On 8 August 1993, Mills and Mincione walked to the corner of De Vere Gardens and Kensington Road, London, but while crossing Kensington Road Mills was knocked down by a police motorcycle (the last in a convoy of three), which was responding to an emergency call. Mills suffered crushed ribs, a punctured lung, and the loss of her left leg 6 inches below the knee; a metal plate was later attached to her pelvis. In October 1993, she had another operation which further shortened her leg. Mills was awarded £200,000 by the police authority as recompense for her injuries, even though the police motorcyclist, PC Osbourne, was later cleared by magistrates of driving without due care and attention. After the accident, Mills sold her story to the News of the World, and gave other interviews, saying she earned £180,000. She used the money to set up the Heather Mills Health Trust which delivers prosthetic limbs to people, particularly children, who have lost limbs after stepping on landmines. Mills often shows people her prosthetic leg; once taking it off during an interview on the American talk show Larry King Live, in 2002.

Mills booked herself into the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, which put her on a raw food vegan diet, using wheat grass and garlic poultices to heal her wound. After an operation, Mills discovered that she had been previously identified as having an O rhesus negative blood type, when in fact she was A rhesus negative, which had interfered with her attempts to follow the so-called blood type diet. As her prosthetic leg had to be replaced on a regular basis (because the size of the amputated stump kept changing as it healed), she had the idea to collect thousands of discarded prosthetic limbs for amputees in Croatia. Mills persuaded the Brixton prison governor to get inmates to dismantle and pack the prosthetic limbs before being transported, which resulted in 22,000 amputees obtaining limbs in addition to the Croatian citizens who were already supplied with prosthetic limbs by the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance, which paid for the fitting of limbs and rehabilitation of patients. The first convoy of limbs arrived in Zagreb in October 1994 and Mills travelled with the convoy to film interviews with some of the recipients for the Good Morning with Anne and Nick daytime TV show. She received an award in 2001 from Croatia's prime minister for the money she raised to help clear that country of landmines.

With the help of ghostwriter Pamela Cockerill, Mills wrote a book about her experience titled Out on a Limb (1995), which was republished in America as A Single Step (2002). Extracts from Out on a Limb were serialised in The Daily Mail in March 2000. Mills handed all the proceeds from the book to Adopt-A-Minefield, and stated that it was one of "the few charities that 100% of their donations goes to clear minefields and survivor assistance". In 1995, Mills got engaged to British media executive Marcus Stapleton, after being together for only 16 days, and was then engaged to respected documentary filmmaker Chris Terrill in 1999, after only 12 days in Cambodia, where they were making a film about landmines. Mills ended their relationship five days before their planned wedding day, later telling friends in the media that she had called the wedding off because Terrill was gay, an MI6 agent, and that his mission was to undermine her anti-landmine work. Terrill had once told Mills that he had been interviewed by the intelligence services when he was thinking of a career with the Foreign Office, but later said, "I soon realised that Heather [Mills] had a somewhat elastic relationship with the truth, which she was able to stretch impressively sometimes". Terrill also claims that although Mills said she was a vegetarian at the time, she often cooked her speciality dish, Lancashire hotpot, which contains lamb, for him; and her ex sister-in-law, Dianna Karmal, claims that Mills only became a vegetarian after meeting McCartney.

In 2003, the Open University awarded her an honorary doctorate for her philanthropic work on behalf of amputees. She continues to campaign, in addition to promoting the distribution of prostheses around the world and has been involved with the development of the Heather Mills McCartney Cosmesis, which gives amputees in America the chance to wear a Dorset Orthopaedic cosmesis, without having to travel to the UK. Mills is also vice-president of the Limbless Association. In 2004, she received a "Children in Need" award from the annual International Charity Gala in Düsseldorf and in the same year, the University of California, Irvine, gave her their 2004 Human Security Award and created the Heather Mills McCartney Fellowship in Human Security to support graduate students conducting research on pressing human security issues. She is a former Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Association Adopt-A-Minefield programme.

Relationship with Paul McCartney

Mills met McCartney at the Dorchester Hotel, during the Pride of Britain Awards event in April 1999, which McCartney had attended to present an award to an animal rights activist. Mills presented the Outstanding Bravery Award to Helen Smith; also making an appeal on behalf of the Heather Mills Health Trust. McCartney also presented an award dedicated to his late wife, Linda McCartney. McCartney talked to Mills about donating to her charity " later giving her £150,000. In the autumn of 1999, Mills and her sister recorded "VO!CE"; a song they wrote to raise funds for Mills' charity, with McCartney agreeing to sing backing vocals. After recording the song in Greece (where Mills' sister lived, running the independent label Coda Records), the sisters stayed overnight at McCartney's estate in Peasmarsh, Sussex, in early November, where McCartney added vocals to the song. Having sparked the interest of the tabloids about his appearances with Mills at events, McCartney appeared publicly beside her at a party in January 2000 to celebrate her 32nd birthday.

While on holiday in the Lake District, McCartney proposed to Mills on 23 July 2001, giving her a £15,000 diamond and sapphire ring he had purchased in Jaipur, India, while they were both there on holiday. Former escort Denize Hewitt, then a friend, claimed that Mills had said she would give McCartney an ultimatum to marry her, and threaten to leave him if he refused. Mills stipulated that McCartney had to agree to stop smoking cannabis before she agreed to marry him, complaining that he used the drug "as regularly as others drink cups of tea", and that she had never taken any illegal drugs in her life.


Mills and McCartney were married on 11 June 2002, four years after McCartney's first wife had died of breast cancer. The McCartney/Mills wedding was an elaborate ceremony at Castle Leslie (once the home of Shane Leslie), in the village of Glaslough in County Monaghan, Ireland. A song specially composed by McCartney, called "Heather", was played, which had been included on the 2001 album, Driving Rain.

Mills said that she liked to cook traditional (but meat-free) Christmas dinners for McCartney and as many of his family as possible, and that McCartney had encouraged her to give up her self-confessed addiction to chocolate and Snickers bars. When asked by chat-show host Larry King (in 2003), how life was with McCartney, Mills replied "Great, really great," but also said that she was surprised at how tidy McCartney was: "He always cleans up before the cleaner comes. So I said for a while that's crazy, but what's good is if I cook the dinner, he'll clean everything up."

In 2003, McCartney played a concert in Red Square, Russia. Vladimir Putin gave the couple a tour of the Kremlin. Mills went on every tour with McCartney during their marriage, as McCartney insisted on her accompanying him, with Mills saying that she helped to design the stage sets and lighting, and also helped McCartney to write songs. McCartney later said that Mills' contribution was giving him an acrylic fingernail to protect a finger on his left hand that often bled after playing guitar. McCartney admitted that Mills inspired him, as "Being in love with her makes me want to write songs", such as "Too Much Rain" on Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, and "See Your Sunshine" ("She makes me feel glad/I want her so bad") from Memory Almost Full. Another composition inspired by Mills was used as the bridal march at their wedding.

During a Parkinson chat show on 22 February 2003, host Michael Parkinson asked if it was because of McCartney that Mills did not give any interviews, and she replied that she wanted to protect McCartney, his children, and their privacy. On the same show she said that her previous ectopic pregnancies had damaged her fertility, and that her chances of getting pregnant were small, although the couple announced that they were expecting their first child in May 2003. Mills gave birth to Beatrice Milly McCartney on 28 October 2003, who was named after Mills' mother, and McCartney's aunt. It was later revealed that Mills had suffered a miscarriage in the first year of marriage to McCartney. Mills was invited by Larry King to interview Paul Newman, which was broadcast by CNN on 17 April 2004. McCartney had arranged for Newman to be interviewed by Mills, but critical reactions to the show were mixed. Mills appeared on other TV programmes, such as BBC1's Question Time and GMTV, and persuaded McCartney to join her on ITV's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Although stating that they had a good sex life, Mills started complaining about the marriage to friends, saying that McCartney was "a boring old fart", and wondering why he had no social life, as well as saying "He has no friends and it's driving me mad". She did not like living at the remote McCartney home in Peasmarsh: "The only thing he [McCartney] ever does is occasionally go to the pub with his roadie. We never have parties or do fun things". After some time apart, Mills and McCartney separated on 17 May 2006. In November 2007, Mills gave a number of interviews, saying that the breakdown of the marriage was caused by her husband's daughter, Stella, whom she described as "jealous" and "evil". Mills had previously talked with New York magazine, saying Stella had once issued a press release confirming how much she liked her new stepmother, although Stella's publicist denied that such a statement had ever been issued.

After dismissing Anthony Julius, a Mishcon de Reya lawyer, Mills stated she would represent herself in the upcoming divorce hearing, with help from her sister Fiona, David Rosen (a solicitor-advocate), and Michael Shilub, an American attorney. In leaked documents, Mills complained that McCartney was often drunk, smoked cannabis, stabbed her with a broken wine glass, pushed her over a table, and pushed her into a bathtub when she was pregnant. Referring to her part in the marriage, Mills said that she had been a full-time wife, mother, lover, confidante, business partner and psychologist to McCartney. McCartney's lawyers studied Mills' book: Life Balance: The Essential Keys to a Lifetime of Wellbeing (published on 25 May 2006), as it contradicted many of her claims, such as when she praised McCartney for "Bringing me breakfast in bed every morning, no matter how he feels, and I do the dinner, so we've got that agreement. It's thoughtfulness". Mills' father reconciled with his daughter after meeting her and McCartney, when they introduced him to his granddaughter, Beatrice. After their separation, he said that it "took guts to represent yourself at the High Court", and that he was proud of his daughter, even though he thought she would be "torn to shreds" by McCartney's lawyers.


The case was heard in court 34, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. At the start of the proceedings Mills asked for £125 million, but McCartney offered £15.8 million. Before the court case, Mills had employed the accountancy firm Lee and Allen to examine McCartney's publishing company, business assets and properties, saying that she had a tape recording of McCartney admitting his true worth, but the presiding judge, Mr Justice Bennett, turned down numerous requests for information by Lee and Allen. The judge accepted McCartney's assets as being £450 million, and not £800 million, as had been suggested.

The hearing took six days, finishing on 18 February 2008, with the judgment being made public on 17 March 2008. Mills was eventually awarded a lump sum of £16.5m, together with assets of £7.8m, which included the properties she owned at the time. The total was £24.3 million, plus payments of £35,000 per annum, for a nanny and school costs for their daughter. In his judgment, Justice Bennett described Mills as a "kindly person" who argued her case with a "steely, yet courteous, determination", but concluded that much of her evidence was, "not just inconsistent and inaccurate but also less than candid", and that overall she was a "less than impressive witness". The divorce was granted on 12 May 2008, and the preliminary divorce decree was finalised six weeks later. Mills applied to keep the full judgment secret, saying that it could make her vulnerable to "crazed" fans of The Beatles. The application was denied. She later considered trying to have the injunction stopping her talking publicly about the case lifted, as the sections released were against her wishes, saying that it would "perhaps be better for the public to see everything". Mills later vowed to continue her legal fight to get full transcripts of the divorce court case made publicly available.

After the decision, Mills talked about McCartney: "I will never get over it. I will always love Paul. He is the father of my child, but I just have to move on and deal with it and there is nothing I can do ... I have never spoken badly about my husband. I never will, he is the father of my child". Mills later threatened to release tapes of McCartney in therapy talking about problems with his late wife, portraying him as a drug and alcohol addict, and researching McCartney's assets to prove he has more than £400 million. A High Court injunction preventing Mills talking about McCartney's family life could have led to a prison sentence if she breached it. McCartney said: "There'll be no more nagging, no more chaos, no more Heather ... bliss. I have peace at last".

During their marriage she was known as Heather Mills McCartney, but after her divorce she reverted to Heather Mills, although she should still be correctly referred to as Lady McCartney; as the former wife of a Knight, she technically retains that title. She was addressed as such by Lord Justice Leveson, during the Leveson Inquiry.


When Paul McCartney planned a holiday with his daughter, Beatrice, at La Gazelle d'Or hotel in Morocco during April 2008, Mills faxed eight pages of instructions to the hotel on what she should and cannot eat. She was insistent that Beatrice's strict vegan diet should be adhered to, and was "driving the hotel staff mad, faxing both the head chef and manager instructions and recipe suggestions for Bea". McCartney was furious, as he had brought up his children as vegetarians. McCartney suggested taking Beatrice on a world tour in 2008, but Mills insisted on rules that would have to be followed: she would accompany her daughter for the 14 months in a private jet and no swearing would be allowed by musicians or road crew in front of her daughter.

Media image and criticism

Mills' relationship with McCartney triggered considerable media interest, but after her divorce, the attitude of the British media was hostile, as Mills was accused of embellishing her life story, being a former prostitute, a shoplifter, and of having married McCartney for his money. Mills frequently accuses the press of misquoting her, and of using material out of context to give a negative impression of her, telling the Evening Standard that the claims that she had married McCartney for his money were more hurtful than losing her leg.

Mills has been accused by several newspapers of having embellished her life story: journalist Heather Mills, then at The Observer, accused Mills of impersonating her for over a year in the late 1990s, showing people cuttings of articles the journalist had written, which helped Mills secure a job presenting The General TV show, which was a BBC programme about [

This biography article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Heather Mills". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.

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