Mills-McCartney says she was near suicide

LONDON (AP) -- Heather Mills McCartney said Wednesday she had been pushed "to the edge" by lies in some newspapers, that she has been threatened with death and that she has preserved a box of evidence in the event that she is killed.

Mills McCartney, who is still negotiating a financial settlement in her divorce from former Beatle Paul McCartney, urged the public to stop buying tabloid newspapers.

"We've had death threats, I've been close to suicide. I'm so upset about this," she said on an ITV television morning show. "I've had worse press than a pedophile or a murderer and I've done nothing but charity for 20 years."

The couple announced their separation in May and began divorce proceedings in July. They have a 3-year-old daughter, Beatrice.

"I am the one that is abused daily," Mills McCartney said. "I have protected Paul for this long and I am trying to protect him but I am being pushed to the edge and I don't want my daughter when she is 12 going on the Internet and reading this totally one-sided story."

She said she hopes to get the European Parliament to regulate the media.

"I need to get everybody to petition that they don't want to be lied to any more by the press," Mills McCartney said.

"They want their children to grow up in a society where press is just and fair, and the size of the lie they print is the size of the apology they have to print.

"They make up such lies," she said, becoming tearful. "They've called me a whore, a gold digger, a fantasist, a liar - the most unbelievably hurtful things - and I've stayed quiet for my daughter."

She said she had taken precautions because of death threats.

"I have a box of evidence that's going to a certain person should anything happen to me, so if you top me off, it's still going to that person and the truth will come out," she said.

Mills McCartney denied she was feeding material to the media.

"I've got 300 friends who came to my daughter's party, and they are biting their tongues not to talk, because they're so loyal," she said. "Even a journalist said to my publicist: 'Her friends are so loyal, we can't even get them to say a word.' Whereas other people's so-called friends are putting stuff out right, left and center."

Paul McCartney also has complained about media coverage of the divorce, which may produce the biggest financial settlement ever in Britain.

"There's only one real answer to the massive press coverage: Don't look," he said in an interview published in May. "So I don't read it."

Posted by KO

The Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report.