PAUL McCartney vowed on Wednesday to defend himself in court against accusations published in British newspapers that he physically attacked his estranged wife Heather during their tempestuous four-year marriage.
“Our client wil
l be defending these allegations vigorously and appropriately,” McCartney’s lawyers Payne Hicks Beach said in a statement.
The Daily Mail newspaper reported that Heather Mills McCartney had claimed in court papers lodged by her lawyers that the former Beatle had stabbed her in the arm with a broken wine glass and grabbed her by the neck to choke her.
Family court documents in England are normally supposed to be confidential. Mills’s lawyers refused to confirm the authenticity of the documents, but her representatives said she stood by everything that had been filed in court on her behalf.
The acrimonious collapse of the couple’s four-year marriage has been front page news in Britain, where McCartney is seen as a national icon.
McCartney’s lawyers said: “Since the breakdown of his marriage Sir Paul McCartney has maintained his silence in not commenting on the media stories, believing that it was best for all concerned, particularly his children….”
“Our client would very much like to respond in public and in detail to the allegations made recently against him by his wife and published in the press but he recognises, on advice, that the only correct forum for his response to the allegations made against him is in the current divorce proceedings.”
McCartney (64) and former model Mills (38) announced their separation in May, blaming media intrusion for the failure of one of the most high-profile marriages in show business.
The Mail reported claims that McCartney used illegal drugs and drank excessively, hurled abuse at Mills and made her cancel an operation on the leg she lost in a traffic accident before they married because it interfered with his holiday plans.
She claimed McCartney did not want her to breastfeed their baby daughter, saying “they are my breasts”, the paper reported.
Heather’s press spokesman Phil Hall said she was shocked to see the allegations published on Wednesday.
“She has kept a dignified silence. She has not spoken about anything and that is still her view. She won’t speak about anything,” he told ITV1’s This Morning show.
The couple have hired the same lawyers that represented modern Britain’s most famous divorcees —Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
McCartney could lose up to a quarter of his estimated US$1,55 billion fortune. That would equate to about £1 million for each week of their marriage.
At first McCartney and Mills said that for the sake of their daughter the break-up would be amicable. But since then, celebrity-obsessed tabloids have been peppered with tales of the separation. Lurid allegations about her past were countered with tales about her being locked out of the family home. — Reuter.