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2002-Jan-29: Heather Interviewed on Entertainment Tonight

In a television interview with Entertainment Tonight this evening, Heather Mills spoke of her Adopt-A-Mine-Field campaign, the rumors surrounding her wedding to Sir Paul, and her return to modeling:
"I'm really pleased. I was surprised that they asked me to model because I'm 34. In this day and age, once you're past 20 ...It was the day before the World Trade Center disaster and I was getting an award with Hillary Clinton and Sarah Ferguson.   A woman from INC International Concepts just happened to be there and said, 'Let's use someone that's more inspirational  - the kind of woman that would wear our clothes!' She contacted me that very day.

"They obviously had a conscience before the disaster and it just developed from there .  People wanted to feel they were making a difference. I said, 'I'll do it if you connect it with a charity.' They said they'd give a percentage of the clothing sales, and they'd promote the whole land mine cause and survivor assistance. I was over the moon, and modeling for a day was like being on holiday again!

"It was a three-day shoot with photographer Walter Chin, who was so laid back he was literally asleep.  A really, really sweet guy. He lit me great and the make-up was great.  That's what modeling is all about; when you meet the models they never look so great in real life!"

How did Heather get involved with Adopt-A-Mine-Field?
"I was fitting up 27,000 kids (with prosthetic limbs) with my own money. Then I got a fever in Cambodia and thought, 'What happens if I can't fund this anymore? I need to make this a registered charity.'  We got a nice donation and I set up a charity. I thought, 'I can't keep fitting these kids up with artificial limbs if these mines are going to keep blowing them up or maiming them!'  So Adopt-A-Mine-Field thought it would be a good connection as well. Now we can clear mine fields and fit up kids for less than $20. This money's going to make a huge difference! If we raise $100,000, we could make 5,000 kids walk again."
Then Heather then spoke about her own life:
"Everything in my life was a lot harder before my accident; My mother left when I was nine. I brought the family up and then my dad went in prison when I was 13.  I was homeless when I was 13 1/2 ... I've just been through so many things!

"My mother lost a leg at the same age as I, in the same place, and they reattached it. She died years later because of bad circulation. I'd worked in the war in Bosnia for two years before I'd lost my leg. People thought it happened after I'd lost my leg but I'd seen people blown up and I dealt a lot with amputees.  Then, ironically I went back to England and got knocked over by a police motorcycle rushing to a call to Princess Diana's house, which turned out to be a false alarm. It crushed my pelvis, punctured my lungs and split my head open. I was lying in the hospital thinking, 'I'm so lucky to be alive, thank goodness they haven't reattached my leg!'

"I re-learned to ski and dance and roller blade and all that kind of stuff. Once I knew I could overcome it, I just got more confident.  When I was still in the hospital, a woman came in and said 'You've been far too confident about this!'  She was trying to beat me down the whole time.  I realized that if other people who lost limbs had someone like her coming to council them, they'd never get over it!

"I only had one down moment, on the beach six months later. I had the ugliest, most horrible, wooden foam-packed leg. I thought, 'Oh my God I can't just go in the water ... I've got to get someone to carry me in the water!'  That night I got really upset and cried for the first time in six months. Then I said, 'Pull yourself together!' and thought, 'I'm going to get a leg that looks fantastic!' Now I've got a leg where I'll wear a short skirt ... people can't believe it isn't real! It's got French manicured toes and it's got no varicose veins and never will have ... It makes me feel feminine.  I thought, Madame Tussaud's (Wax Museum) has perfect lifelike looking people, so what am I doing wearing this disgusting thing?

"I was never really devastated about my accident because I was model, but I used modeling to become an entrepreneur.  I wasn't the model that was out there smoking cigarettes and coffee.  I was on the phone negotiating deals that whole time and used the freedom of traveling the world and getting paid for it. So when I lost my leg, I was like, 'Okay I could still model, they could shoot me above the knee.' But I looked into other areas and I just started thinking about more businesses. I was lucky because I wasn't just solely relying on modeling."

How is her life now?
"I'd say I am the most happy in my life right now. In my personal life, I'd say that I have one of the best guys in the world. There's a lot of jealousy, but I'd say 99% of people are very happy we're both happy. In my work life, charity is a huge thing and Paul knows that this means a lot to me. He worries about me going to other countries and falling ill because I have before, but he's very supportive."
What is the most wonderful thing about Paul?
"He's very generous and giving (to charitable causes). I won't talk about our personal life because I'm afraid I'm going to jinx it, but that doesn't mean he doesn't mean the world to me. He's an incredible guy. I'm very lucky."
And her ring?
"It's an Indian Sapphire with two diamonds. He bought it and then held on to it for 6 months until our anniversary ... very romantic!"
Finally, will they be married in Skibo Castle?
"We are not getting married in Skibo Castle. If you always listen to rumors, you've got a lot to learn."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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