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McCartney's ex-wife awarded almost $50 million

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Monique Faulkner
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« on: March 17, 2008, 11:12:30 am »

McCartney's ex-wife awarded almost $50 million

Story Highlights
Paul McCartney's ex-wife claims nearly $50M payout in divorce ruling

Heather Mills says she is "so glad" long-running divorce over

Ruling follows collapse of ex-Beatle's four-year marriage to former model

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Heather Mills, the estranged wife of Paul McCartney, was granted nearly 25 million pounds ($50 million) in her divorce proceedings with the former Beatle, she said Monday.

Mills and McCartney, pictured before divorce proceedings, married in 2002 and have a young daughter.

 Mills said she will not appeal the award, but she will appeal the publication of the hearing transcript, which she said McCartney has asked for.

In an 11-minute statement to reporters outside the High Court after the verdict, Mills said she was pleased that the bitter divorce hearings had ended.

"I'm so glad it's over and it was an incredible result, in the end, to secure my and my daughter's future, and that of all the charities that I obviously plan on helping," said Mills, dressed in a khaki, green and blue suit with a bright red shirt.

Mills has established a career as a campaigner and charity worker since losing a leg in a road accident in 1993.  Watch background to McCartney Mills divorce case

Judge Hugh Bennett awarded Mills, who represented herself, 23.7 million pounds ($47.4 million). She said McCartney had proposed 15.8 million pounds ($31.6 million).

The judgment included 35,000 pounds ($70,000) a year for the couple's 4-year-old daughter, Beatrice. Mills said she was unhappy with that amount because it isn't enough for school tuition, private security, or first-class airfare.

McCartney-Mills divorce
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"He likes her to fly five times a year on holiday," Mills said of McCartney. "It's 17,000 (pounds) for two people return (round-trip) first class, so that's obviously not meant to happen for her anymore. It's very sad."

Mills said she would appeal to stop the publication of the entire judgment because it contains private details about Beatrice and she doesn't want them released. The judge has granted permission for the litigants to speak publicly, she said.

McCartney did not speak to reporters after the verdict.

Mills said that as a "litigant in person," or a litigant representing herself, the system worked against her at every turn.

"These people are in a club," she said. "It's like they want to stay together and they don't want to see a litigant in person doing well."

She said the judge did not agree with her on important details, including how long the couple lived together or even McCartney's personal wealth, which she estimated at 800 million pounds ($1.6 billion). She said the judge estimated it to be half of that.

Don't Miss  Mills 'so happy' with settlement
"I won't go into all the horrific details of what happened because I'm just glad it's over," Mills said. "I really hope now that me and my daughter can have a life and not be followed every single day, and that is why I've come out -- to give it closure."

McCartney and Mills failed to agree on a settlement ending their four-year marriage in divorce hearings last month, leaving the judge to decide the terms.

McCartney and Mills married in 2002 after meeting at a charity event.

At the time of their split in 2006, they described it as amicable, despite widespread reports of a tempestuous relationship between McCartney and the former model.

Mills has since lashed out at news media coverage of the divorce, which she said has been unfair to her and driven her to the brink of suicide.

In a television interview last year, Mills said she had endured "18 months of abuse, worse than a murderer or ****."

Monday's divorce settlement fell short of the previous record for a litigated divorce settlement in Britain. An award of 48 million ($96 million) was handed down last year, according to British divorce lawyer Julian Lipson. E-mail to a friend
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