Judge’s Verdict On Ranting Heather

The judge who presided over Paul McCartney’s divorce says Heather Mills’ case was based on "make-believe," wholly exaggerated and at times "devoid of reality."

The publication of Mr Justice Bennett’s judgment, which was handed down March 17, was released in full 24 hours later, after Mills lost a Court of Appeal application to prevent it from being published.

She sought to block the ruling being made public because the lengthy document compromised their daughter Beatrice’s privacy. But Lord Justices Thorpe and Wall dismissed her objection, saying they would not interfere with the judge’s decision to publish it in its entirety.

The 58-page ruling published by the Family Court reveals that Judge Bennett felt Mills’ demands were "unreasonable, indeed exorbitant" and that she was a "less than impressive witness" who "wholly exaggerated" the extent of her wealth before she met her ex-husband.

Bennett said the 65-year-old former Beatle’s testimony was "consistent, accurate and honest."

A day after she’d spent 10 minutes ranting to the press following the award of a £24.3 million divorce settlement and boasted of throwing a jug of water over Fiona Shackleton, McCartney’s counsel, Mills’ reputation was reduced to shreds.

Bennett said she wanted to maintain the lifestyle she had while married to McCartney as part of the "me-too" syndrome, which saw her vastly exaggerate and "over-egg" the cost of her needs.

After analysing the couple’s finances, the judge dismissed her claim that their cohabitation began two years before their June 2002 marriage, wholly rejected her assertion that she rekindled her husband’s professional flame and gave him back his confidence, and questioned the fact that she couldn’t produce evidence to support many of the charitable donations she claims to have made.

The judgment reveals that her tax returns "disclose no charitable giving at all" (between 1997 and 2000), despite her assurances that she gave as much as 90 percent of her earnings to charities.

Although the case should mark the end of the long and acrimonious saga, Bennett said a decree nisi of divorce would not be pronounced until May 12.