LONDON (CBS/AP) -- A British judge has awarded Heather Mills a total of $48.6 million in the financial settlement of her divorce from former Beatle Paul McCartney.
A document released by the Family Court says the judge awarded Mills a lump sum of $33 million plus assets she currently holds worth $15.6 million. Mills says she is "very happy" with the settlement
British law dictates that divorce cases are heard in private, and Judge Hugh Bennett delivered his ruling at a closed-door hearing at London's Royal Courts of Justice.
McCartney, wearing a dark suit and a black and white scarf, was the first to arrive, followed five minutes later by Mills, who sported a blue-and-brown pantsuit.
McCartney, 65, and Mills, 40, went to court last month to decide on Mills' share of his fortune, which is estimated at as much as $1.6 billion. Media reports have suggested McCartney offered his wife around $50 million and that she was seeking at least double that amount.
The settlement has been a long time coming for the couple, who separated two years ago, after four years of marriage. At the time they said the parting was "amicable" and insisted "both of us still care about each other very much."
But the split has grown fractious since McCartney filed for divorce alleging his wife's "unreasonable behavior."
Mills - a former model whose left leg was amputated below the knee after a motorcycle accident in 1993 - claimed McCartney had failed to protect her and their daughter from slander, death threats and other abuse, and accused the media of persecuting her. In November, Mills said she had been "treated worse than a murderer or a pedophile," despite years of work for land mine victims and animal welfare charities.
When the couple and their lawyers appeared for a six-day hearing before Judge Bennett last month, photographers craned to catch a glimpse of them entering the grand, neo-Gothic court building, and reporters huddled outside the courtroom door.
But few details emerged.
Legal experts said the fact that the couple have a child would be taken into account in a settlement - but so would the relative brevity of the marriage and the fact that most of McCartney's wealth was generated before he married Mills.
McCartney met Mills in 1999, the year after the death from breast cancer of his first wife, Linda. That marriage was one of rock's most enduring unions, and produced three children, including fashion designer Stella McCartney.
Mills and McCartney married at an Irish castle in June 2002, amid rumors the former Beatle's children disapproved of their new stepmother. The couple's daughter was born the following year.
Posted by LS