Updated January 27. Heather Mills McCartney has told Helen Chislett of The Times of London that because of the negative publicity she has received by the press, she regrets ever meeting Sir Paul:
I went from being someone who never had a negative article written about them to being absolutely persecuted. It was initially such a shock. No, I feel as though I am stuck in prison and then eventually they go after someone else and I am allowed out on probation. There have been loads of times I have regretted meeting Paul because I was so happy in my old life. I was nowhere near as sensitive as I am now."
Heather is tired of being accused of marring Sir Paul for his money:
"That is like saying my husband is only a pot of gold, that he is not sexy, can't sing, has no humor and is not loving or romantic. Who's getting insulted here? We are talking about someone who has had one of the most successful marriages ever in showbiz history and has a fantastic family. You can't have that without being pretty special. When we met, I used to tell myself that if I got even 1% of the love he had for Linda, I would be blessed. And we totally have that love."
She claims that from now on, she and her baby daughter, Beatrice, will remain out of the limelight:
"I don't want her growing up like a celebrity baby; it's hard enough being a McCartney child. All I will say is that she is the light of my life and I am really happy."
Heather also worries about the impact of her negative press on her charity work and has considered stepping down. One manufacturer withdrew his offer to donate 3,000 prosthetic limbs to Adopt-a-Minefield:
"Because the factory pulled out, 3,000 kids did not get limbs for nine months. Can you imagine how terrible I felt about that? You might hate me, you might want to tear me apart, but don't hurt the people I am trying to help. Find another way.
"I think I should stay completely behind the scenes of the charity; it is where I do most of my work anyway. I don't want to expose myself to being whipped and lashed any more. To feel such venom coming at you is so shocking it takes your breath away. My dream would be just to get on with my life and not be harassed or stressed. There are so many things I want to get on with, but my energy is sucked out of me the whole time dealing with situations that take me away from my child and the charity.
"I can handle anything thrown at me, but people really don't comprehend how much damage it does to the bigger picture. If I do something bad, then knock me down, I deserve everything I get. But don't attack me unfairly when all I want to do is the work I feel I have been put on this planet to do."
Sir Paul goes on to defend Heather in the article saying:
"Even though she has been through all the personal tragedies that she has come through in her life, this sort of thing seems to her more unfair than all of them put together. I might view an article as a clear bit of nonsense, but the worst thing is that people might then question whether to support our charity or not - that is the most insidious consequence. The thing is that Heather is for real. If someone is distressing her, she really takes heart.
"I don't allow myself to feel guilty, but it certainly occurs to me, not just for Linda and Heather but for my kids. But I can't allow that feeling. I have to brush it aside. This is who I am and who she is and there are certainly people a hell of a lot worse off than we are.
"You must remember Linda got it too. They used to say things like, 'Poor old Paul. All he wants is a nice meaty sausage and she won't give him one'. It was as if I was a carnivore on heat dying for a piece of meat.
"I might be attracted to a good-looking girl, but no way am I going to get this involved unless there is really something there. I am not a fool. I know Heather as a mum and a wife and a friend and she is fantastic in all those departments. She is a really good person."
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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