Macca’s Very Public Divorce
Two years ago Paul McCartney and Heather Mills were pleading with the media to "to allow them some privacy" during their divorce, but the judge hearing the case may still make his ruling public.
Although both husband and wife rail against "the paparazzi," neither has been shy about a photo opportunity and both have – sometimes not even quietly – made sure the press doesn’t wander off and forget about them altogether.
Mr Justice Bennett, who presided over a five-day hearing at the High Court to decide the slice of the former Beatle’s fortune to go to Mills, is to deliver his assessment behind closed doors on March 17.
However, Judge Bennett has taken the somewhat rare step of letting the less-than-happy couple know that he may release all or part of his conclusions because of the huge public interest in the case.
A spokesman for the Judicial Communications Office told the Daily Telegraph, "The Judge will hand down his judgment in private on March 17. He will then decide, having heard submissions from the parties, whether or not to make the judgment public in whole or in part. The submissions from both parties will be heard in private.
"It is not unknown in high profile cases, or where the judges think the case has legal significance, for some or all of the settlement to be made public."
It wouldn’t be the first time Bennett has made such a judgment public: The judge published a 24-page judgment in which he ordered advertising tycoon Martin Sorrell, who is worth an estimated £75 million, to pay his former wife £30 million, including a £23.4 million lump sum, and a home in Knightsbridge.
The highest divorce payout awarded by a British court was the £48 million made to Beverley Charman after her 28-year marriage to insurance magnate John Charman.
That sum came from the couple’s total assets of £131 million. But lawyers specialising in big-money payouts say agreements as high as £100 million have been reached privately.