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Excerpts from Mills-McCartney divorce ruling

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  • Judge on Heather Mills: Level of premarital wealth "exaggerated"
  • McCartney gave Mills several hundred thousand dollars each year
  • Judge: Mills' case "boils down to ... 'if he has it, I want it too' "
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(CNN) -- The following are excerpts from the Heather Mills-Paul McCartney divorce ruling, issued by the Honorable Mr. Justice Bennett. Dollar figures are based on the current exchange rate of approximately two dollars per British pound:


Heather Mills' case "boils down to the syndrome of 'me, too,' " said the judge.

On Mills' finances:

"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. I do not doubt her commitment to charitable causes ... [but] I find that the wife's case as to her wealth in 1999 to be wholly exaggerated. The assertion that she was a wealthy person in 1999 is, of course, the first step in her overall case that her career, which in 1999 she says was one producing rich financial rewards, was thereafter blighted by the husband during their relationship. It is therefore connected to the issue of 'compensation.' "

On her stature as "business partner":

"In my judgment the picture painted by the husband of the wife's part in his emotional and professional life is much closer to reality than the wife's account. The wife, as the husband said, enjoys being the center of attention. ... I am prepared to accept that her presence was emotionally supportive to him but to suggest that in some way she was his 'business partner' is, I am sorry to have to say, make-belief."

On gifts to Mills from McCartney:

"[McCartney] asserted (and there is no dispute) that he made substantial capital payments to the wife over and above an annual allowance of £360,000 ($720,000) per annum. He lent her monies in respect of his purchase and renovation of [the house] Angel's Rest. In 2002 and 2003 he gave her cash totaling £500,000 ($1 million). He lent [Heather's sister] Fiona Mills £421,000 ($842,000) to buy a property and purchased a house for [Heather's relative] Sonya Mills for £193,000 ($386,000). In 2005 he purchased jewelry for the wife worth £264,000 ($528,000)."

On some paintings in Angel's Rest:

"[Mills] asserted in her cross-examination of the husband that some 30 paintings done by [McCartney], which are hanging in Angel's Rest, were given to her by the husband. The husband strongly disagreed. The husband told me that when the wife bought Angel's Rest she had nothing to hang on the walls and so he lent her 30 of his own paintings. He told me they were his, that he may leave them in trust for Beatrice and his other children, and that he wants them back save for the flower photographs and the Isle of Man stamp design, both given to the wife by the husband. The husband, I find, was generous towards the wife but his generosity did not extend to giving her 30 valuable paintings (of his own creation.) I accept the husband's evidence. In my judgment he is entitled to have them back."

On the size of McCartney's fortune:

"It is unnecessary in the instant case to arrive at a precise figure for the total wealth of the husband, given its enormous size. As he has always accepted, he can pay any sum which the court considers appropriate as for financial provision for the wife. Nevertheless I find that the husband's total wealth amounts to approximately £400 million ($800 million). I reject the wife's case that he is worth £800 million ($1.6 billion). There is absolutely no evidence at all to support that figure or any figure anywhere near it."

On living style:

"In my judgment the wife's attitude, ... her open offers, her oral and written evidence, and her submissions is that she is entitled for the indefinite future, if not for the whole of her life, to live at the same 'rate' as the husband and to be kept in the style to which she perceives she was accustomed during the marriage. Although she strongly denied it her case boils down to the syndrome of 'me, too' or 'if he has it, I want it too.' ... It must have been absolutely plain to the wife after separation that it was wholly unrealistic to expect to go on living at the rate at which she perceived she was living."

On Mills' future:

"The wife's case is that her earning capacity is now zero. The wife, as I have said, blames the husband for his attitude towards her working during the marriage. That I have found to be a false case. ... The wife would say she is at a severe disadvantage. I think she overplays her hand. ... I have no doubt that, despite the very adverse publicity in the last 2 years or a little under, the wife does have an earning capacity. She has earned her living since the age of 17. I have found that her association with the husband advanced, not stultified, her career." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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