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Divorce costs Paul McCartney $48.7 million

Latest update : 2008-03-17

A British court ordered former Beatle Paul McCartney on Monday to pay his estranged wife Heather Mills 24.3 million pounds ($48.7 million) after an acrimonious divorce battle.

Former Beatle Paul McCartney agreed a divorce settlement worth nearly 25 million pounds (50 million dollars, 33 million euros) with his estranged wife Heather Mills on Monday, she said.

The hard-fought deal was finally struck at London's High Court after a two-year divorce battle between the pop legend and the 40-year-old former model, who had claimed 125 million pounds from McCartney.

"I'm so glad it's over and it was an incredible result in the end," Mills told reporters on the steps of the court said, adding that she was "very, very, very pleased".

"All in all, we come out with nearly 25 million (pounds) ... Sir Paul offered me 15.8 all in, including the properties, and I got 24.5, I don't remember the figures."

A summary of the judgment read that McCartney offered Mills 15.8 million pounds but the judge decided he should pay her 24.3 million pounds -- a lump sum of 16.5 million pounds plus her assets of 7.8 million pounds.

The judge found that the total value of McCartney's assets, including his business assets, was about 400 million pounds. There was no evidence at all before him that he was worth 800 million, he added.

Financial provision for the couple's four-year-old daughter consists of periodical payments of 35,000 pounds each year, with McCartney agreeing to pay for her nanny and school fees.

"The most important thing for me is to get this over and done with," Mills added, in extensive remarks after the three-hour hearing.

McCartney, 65, made no comment as he left the court, saying only "Thank you" as he got into a blacked-out limousine.

The pair spent a week in court in February trying to hammer out how much of his estimated 825-million-pound fortune she should get, but they failed to agree and left it to the judge to rule.

McCartney married Mills, a former model turned charity campaigner, in 2002, four years after his first wife, Linda, died from breast cancer.

They announced an "amicable" split in May 2006, but their dealings since have been anything but friendly.

Some newspaper reports had speculated that the deal could be the highest divorce settlement in British history, outstripping the 48 million pounds businessman John Charman was told to pay his former wife last year.

During last month's hearings, the Daily Mail reported that McCartney could offer Mills 55 million pounds (74 million euros, 107 million dollars).

She would take a 20-million-pound lump sum and a further 2.5 million pounds each year for 14 years until Beatrice turns 18, with a substantial amount set aside for security, it said, but its figures proved well wide of the mark.

Mills said Friday that she was to appeal the publication of the full judgment, citing it breached her right under human rights legislation to respect for private and family life.

She could be back in court as early as Tuesday, she added.

Date created : 2008-03-17