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2003-May-16: The Real Mrs. McCartney Replies to Her Critics

The British press reports today that Heather Mills McCartney will appear on the BBC1 Tabloid Tales television program. to answer the "gold digger" allegations lodged against her by family and friends during channel 4's The Real Mrs. McCartney program  (see May 7).

During the interview with Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan , Heather stated:

"I'd be happy living with Paul in a shed.

"I could live off my husband. I don't and I never will. I don't want any of it. He would offer me anything I wanted, but he admires and respects my independence and I don't want to be somebody that is suddenly relying on somebody else financially.  I've seen it too many times, in too many relationships. If you give up your independence you don't feel great about yourself."

Why did Sir Paul marry her?
"Because he fell in love with me.

"When people say, 'Heather's a gold digger', the insult is not to me, that's to Paul because they're saying he's not talented, he's not sexy, he's not good-looking, there's absolutely nothing about him except his bank balance.  They're trying to have a go at me, but they're insulting him, saying he's not worthy of me. There is no difference in my  lifestyle now than before I met Paul. I've got the same money I had before. I run my house, my own car, I pay my own bills, nothing has changed.

"We don't live a big lush lifestyle with loads of staff. In my eyes we live such a simple life.  We have breakfast and I'll do my work and he'll go off to his work.  We'll come back and watch telly. You don't see us at every film premiere unless it is for charity. We're not living that Hollywood lifestyle. I cook my own dinner - he makes the breakfast. He's amazing. He cleans up. He loves it. He's a naturally wonderful guy that offers to help in a modern day relationship where two people are out working and you both come together."

In the interview, Heather stated that before their wedding, she offered to sign a pre-nuptial agreement:
"I told Paul: 'I want to say that I don't want anything so that you feel really comfortable about it'.  But Paul said: 'It's not romantic to sign a pre-nuptial. I'd never want to do that'."
The Channel 4 program accused Heather of reinventing herself and exaggerating the traumatic events of her early life.  To this Heather responds:
 
"Why would I want to make something like that up? I can only tell what the story is. The point is that I did leave home.  I was homeless and I did do a lot of things that teenagers who are rebelling do. I stole from a jewelry shop and I spoke honestly about these things in my book nine years ago, because I thought that would inspire someone to see that you can go on and go past that. My life was crazy and I dealt with it and I was fine, but there is only so much you can take in your life. If all I'm trying to do is survive and make a difference and I'm constantly being knocked, why am I doing what I'm doing?  I can handle living on the streets, I've been poor, I've swept the streets, I've done all those things and that's why I've had the public behind me so much because I'm not someone that was born with a silver spoon in my mouth.

"I have fitted up 27,000 people with artificial limbs. How can you find a negative in helping thousands of people? It's like, 'she only does it to make herself look good' - well why doesn't everyone else?"

How does Heather respond to her father's denials of violence and neglect?
"First of all my dad can't talk. He's had six strokes. Anything that's come from my dad is totally made-up.  Our family don't speak to him. I was the last one to give up because he called me at the hospital on the day I lost my leg and all he wanted was more money. He didn't even say, 'Are you all right?' I had the excuse to go, 'no more'.  Eventually you have to accept that if there's somebody really bad in your family, you can't keep sticking your hand in the  fire while he constantly keeps abusing the relationship.  In my early 20s I had to work to pay off my father's debts.  I don't believe he's ever given a proper interview because he can't talk properly.  If he could talk properly he probably would because he's very, very into money."
How does Heather reply to the allegations made by her ex-husband and boyfriends?
"I can understand people being worried because of the broken engagements and being skeptical that it's not going to work, but it takes two for a relationship not to work, not just one.  I truly believe at the time when I got engaged to these people that I was very much in love with them, respected them, hoped it would work out.  I'm a true romantic and I meet somebody and it's either immediate or nothing, so I've had a few partners in my past - no more than any other woman of 35."
What about Sir Paul?
 "When we first met I started thinking, what happens if this doesn't work out?  I'm going to be this terrible woman who didn't work it out with this perfect man who was married for 30 years, who never  made a mistake. Which is why it was me who wanted to keep it quiet as long as possible.  Paul actually said to me, 'How am I going to keep somebody like you' - knowing I'd had these relationships'.  I replied: 'Romance, that's all I have ever wanted and needed'.

"Whenever we see each other we kiss straight away. It's lovely. We're very touchy, feely and that's what happens when you're in love.  "We're just very compatible. He believes that being with someone you learn things from people. He thinks I'm very kind and that I do things that he says he would never do.  I feel like I'm the older person. He's like a little boy - he just skips around everywhere."

How did Sir Paul react when he first heard Heather's accounts of her traumatic childhood?
 "He was saddened by most of it - my mother and father leaving.  He couldn't comprehend that because he has got such a wonderful family with his brother Mike and his dad was a wonderful guy and his mum died when he was very young, so I think he hadn't known what that kind of life can be.  He always says: 'You've had such a difficult time. I just want to look after you and take care of you.'

"He would be happy if I stayed at home and he just took care of me the whole time."

How does she deal with being compared to Linda?
"I got offered my own series on Channel 4 to do a vegetarian cookery series and I saw the problems with that and said, 'no way' because it would look like I'm copying.  I've had to be so protective, watching everything, being careful what I say. I'm not used to being put in a corner and locked up in a golden prison."
So, why does Heather attract so much criticism?
"I think it's their own fear and their own ignorance of ever having to have gone through what I did. A lot of people go through small things and collapse and they're devastated so they think there is no way anybody could go through all of that and still be together as a person. It's because they can't comprehend how I can lose a leg and go 'OK, it's a leg, I'll get another one.'

"Yes, it upset me at times, like when I have to crawl to the loo at night, but I get on with it. You can sit and say, 'she's after his money'. I don't worry or complain about that, the thing that gets to me is when long-term damage is done to my charity work."

Heather's Tabloid Tales will be aired on BBC1 on Tuesday, May 20 at 10:35 p.m.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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