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2002-Jun-03: Pre-wedding Jitters?

As Sir Paul and Heather Mill's wedding date draws near, the British press (and not just the tabloids) are reporting that the bride and groom as well as daughter Stella and some of Sir Paul's friends all seem to be demonstrating some reservations about the marriage.

Heather's ringToday's newspapers have published reports about an argument that took place two weeks ago between Sir Paul and Heather in Miami, Florida during which Heather's engagement ring was tossed from a fifth-floor balcony and lost in the hotel garden below.  The row became so heated that guests of the Turnberry Isle Resort and Club called security to complain about the shouting coming from the couples' suite.   A guard on duty that evening reports that he clearly heard Sir Paul say that he wanted to cancel the wedding:

"'He kept yelling that he wanted to call it off. Suddenly he appeared on the balcony then stormed back inside. There was more screaming, then it went quiet."
Meanwhile, the hotel's assistant manager, Rudolph Gimmi, phoned the suite and was told by Sir Paul that everything was fine. A few moments later Sir Paul rang back to ask for help in finding Heather's $40,000 diamond and sapphire ring.  Mr. Gimmi confirmed:
"Yes it did happen but we're not allowed to talk about it. There was a row and the ring went out the window. Mr. McCartney's people asked us to search for it and we did."
Carmen Ackerman, the hotel's publicist Carmen Ackerman also confirmed that the event took place following Sir Paul's Fort Lauderdale concert:
"There was an incident whereby Heather's ring fell from the balcony. She and Paul were very upset about it. We started searching at daylight. It was pouring with rain and our security staff were on their hands and knees looking for it. Paul and Heather had to leave but we promised we'd keep looking. We even rented metal detectors half way through the afternoon.  Much later on, one of our security guards went back out with a flash-light and found it sparkling under a bush. He then returned it to Mr. Gimmi."
Since the couple had already returned to London, Sir Paul purchased a first-class ticket to London for Mr. Gimmi so that he could personally return the ring to him.  Upon his arrival in London, Mr. Gimmi was met by a McCartney aide who accepted the ring on behalf of Sir Paul and gave Mr. Gimmi a  GBP 1,500 ($4,000) reward for Garry Aristide, the guard who found the ring.  According to Mr. Aristide:
"We were told to keep on looking so I did. I can't tell you how relieved we all were when I spotted it."
Other reports are circulating that Sir Paul hasn't spoken to his daughter Stella for over a month  because of her opposition to his impending wedding.  Friends of Stella say she has found it difficult to come to terms with Heather taking the place of her late mother.  Sir Paul admitted in a recent interview that "A second marriage is hard for children."  Stella's friends are letting it be known that:
"There is an uneasy silence between Sir Paul and Stella about the wedding.  Stella and her father have always found time to speak regularly in the past despite being extremely busy with their careers. Now it seems Stella doesn't want to rock the boat with Sir Paul so she is keeping mum (quiet)."
Another friend is quoted as saying:
"Stella thinks Heather saw Paul was vulnerable and pounced on him like a praying mantis. Now she's dragging him up the aisle. In Stella's eyes it has been done with indecent haste."
Even some of Sir Paul's friends are joining the protest. One McCartney friend told the New York Post claims that Heather "drags him to parties and keeps him away from old chums. Heather controls him to a large extent, and has started dictating who he can talk to, who he can be friends with."

In spite of all the troubles, this morning's London Times proclaims: "Thursday: Sir Paul McCartney marries Heather Mills at the Hamptons."

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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