McCartney divorce battle goes on

Society Materials 15 February 2008 23:29 (UTC +04:00)
McCartney divorce battle goes on

( AP ) - The divorce hearing between Paul McCartney and Heather Mills looks set to stretch into a second week, after a judge allotted extra time for the couple's court case.

The hearing had been scheduled to end Friday, but officials at London's Royal Courts of Justice said the case before Justice Hugh Bennett would continue Monday.

Mills and McCartney separated in 2006 after four years of marriage and have since traded blows in the media while trying, and failing, to agree on divorce terms.

The hearing was called to decide on Mills' share of the former Beatle's fortune, estimated at as much as $1.6 billion. Media reports suggest that McCartney has offered his wife about $50 million and that she is seeking at least double that amount.

The couple have squared off every day this week, but few details have emerged. Unlike most British court cases, divorce proceedings are heard in private, and the courtroom is closed to journalists and the public.

Mills, 40, and McCartney, 65, have made no comment to the reporters and photographers who have gathered outside court each day.

McCartney has hired lawyer Fiona Shackleton, who represented Prince Charles in his 1996 divorce from Princess Diana. Mills, who fired her legal team late last year, is representing herself.

After the hearing ends, Bennett is expected to take several weeks to consider his settlement. The terms will not become public unless it is challenged in the Court of Appeal, or either of the parties chooses to reveal details.

Mills is a former model whose left leg was amputated below the knee after a motorcycle accident in 1993. She became active in campaigning against land mines and in favor of animal welfare.

The couple married in June 2002 - four years after the death of McCartney's first wife, Linda - and their daughter Beatrice was born in October the following year. They announced their separation in 2006, and McCartney filed for divorce alleging "unreasonable behavior" by his wife.