Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hopalong Mills a Liar but divorce settled

Sorry it's so long. from gossip rocks:

In his full ruling on the McCartney divorce, the judge was highly critical of Heather Mills's evidence. Mr Justice Bennett wrote:
"The husband’s evidence was, in my judgment, balanced. He expressed himself moderately though at times with justifiable irritation, if not anger. He was consistent, accurate and honest.
"But I regret to have to say I cannot say the same about the wife’s evidence.

He went on to criticise Miss Mills's claims:
"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."

He continued:
"During her cross-examination she asserted for the first time that in addition to property assets she had £2m-£3m in the bank. No mention of such assets was made in her affidavit. There is no documentary evidence to support that assertion. During the hearing she was asked repeatedly to produce bank statements, which she said she thought she had in Brighton, to verify this claim. No bank statements were ever produced.
"I do not doubt that she modelled successfully and was a public speaker. But the investigation in this case of her assets and earnings as at 1999 when the parties met do not bear out her case."

After addressing her financial claims in detail, he concluded:
"I find that the wife’s case as to her wealth in 1999 to be wholly exaggerated."

After analysing the couple's finances, the judge dismissed Miss Mills's claim that their cohabitation began in March 2000:
"I reject the wife’s case on this issue. Thus, their true and settled relationship lasted from marriage (June 2002) and not from March 2000."

He was sceptical about Miss Mills's claims that her husband hampered her own career:
"There are other examples, in my judgment, which, contrary to the wife’s case, show that the husband was supportive of, or furthered, the wife’s career."

He cited the example of a lecture series in the US run by a man called Mr Benia. Miss Mills had claimed that Sir Paul prevented her from doing further lectures:
"The husband, in my judgment, gave compelling evidence that no-one tells the wife what to do. This accords with his written evidence that the wife is very strong willed. Indeed watching the wife give evidence and present her case she came across to me as strong willed and very determined. I have no doubt that had the wife really wanted to contract for dates through Mr Benia she would have done it and the husband would not have stood in her way."

Addressing Miss Mills's claim that Sir Paul failed to contribute to her charity work:
"I have to say that the facts as I find them to be do not support the wife’s case. Within two months of the parties meeting in May 1999 the husband donated £150,000 to the wife’s charity (the Heather Mills Health Trust). In December 2002 and again in December 2003 the husband made a gift of £250,000 outright to the wife, thus plainly giving her the opportunity to make donations to charity."

He concluded:
"I find that, far from the husband dictating to and restricting the wife’s career and charitable activities, he did the exact opposite, as he says. He encouraged it and lent his support, name and reputation to her business and charitable activities. The facts as I find them do not in any way support her claim. “Compensation” therefore does not arise."

He went on to acknowledge Miss Mills's role as a wife and mother, but rejected her claim that her commitment to the marriage was "exceptional":
"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 centre of attention. Her presence on his tours came about because she loved the husband, enjoyed being there and because she thoroughly enjoyed the media and public 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."

He continued:
"I have to say that the wife’s evidence that in some way she was the husband’s “psychologist”, even allowing for hyperbole, is typical of her make-belief. I reject her evidence that she, vis-à-vis the husband, was anything more than a kind and loving person who was deeply in love with him, helped him through his grieving and like any new wife tried to integrate into their relationship the children of his former marriage.

"I wholly reject her account that she rekindled the husband’s professional flame and gave him back his confidence."

and listened to her give evidence, having studied the documents, and having given in her favour every allowance for the enormous strain she must have been under (and in conducting her own case) I am driven to the conclusion that much of her evidence, both written and oral, was not just inconsistent and inaccurate but also less than candid. Overall she was a less than impressive witness."

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