McCartney hits back at slurs against wife

LONDON: Former Beatle Paul McCartney on February 5 broke a long silence over media criticism of his new wife, Heather, issuing a damning condemnation of “scurrilous reports” which had wounded both of them intensely.

“It hurts me to see her wounded by these scurrilous reports, and not have anyone to put the record straight,” he said.

McCartney, 62, met the 36-year-old model-turned-charity campaigner in 1999, and they married in 2002, with Mills having a child the next year.

The pair met soon after the death of McCartney’s first wife, Linda, and Mills has faced a more or less constant campaign of rumour and whispering about both her personal life and her influence over the ex-Beatle.

Among reports which have made it into newspapers are that she has fallen out badly with McCartney’s children from his first marriage, and that she has persuaded him to dye his hair or have plastic surgery.

McCartney dismissed reports of a rift with his children, saying they all “get on great” with Mills, who became a an anti-land mine campaigner after losing part of a leg when she was struck by a motorbike in 1993.

Among the most shocking accusations, McCartney said, was that “losing a leg was perhaps the best thing that ever happened to Heather as it fed her desire for self publicity”.

“Imagine losing a leg, and dealing with it as bravely as Heather has done and having to read that on top of it!” he said, in comments posted on the website under the title ‘A Note From Paul’. “She was reported to always be clinging to me, the inference being that she was too possessive.”

“Never mind the fact that I love her holding my arm, the real truth is that often the surface of a floor or pavement can be dangerous for an amputee to walk on, and a little help from a friend can sometimes be appreciated.” McCartney conceded that he dyed his hair, but said he had “engaged in this devilish practice years before I met her,” something that had been pursued “with varying degrees of success”.

There were so many false rumours that “it is impossible to answer them all”, McCartney wrote. “I only hope that these words of mine help genuine people to get a clearer view of the realities of our lives, and encourage them to think for themselves, and not give credence to words by people who simply dont care about the truth.” — AFP