Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney's high profile divorce made its way to a courtroom last week, and some say McCartney is claiming an early victory.
The former Beatle was seen emerging from a court hearing and flashed a "V" for victory sign while Mills emerged looking like a woman scorned. The ugly divorce battle is being played out in front of a judge and on front pages.
While it's too soon to declare a winner, those keeping score say McCartney seems to be up by a couple of touchdowns.
"Sir Paul McCartney has come out and done the thumbs up sign, we're all thinking, 'Oh, he's got one over on her.' Don't underestimate the power of Heather Mills. She's ruthless," entertainment reporter Neil Sean told CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips. "And what we quite like about the fact is that while she's playing this rather sickly, sweet, serene person, remember this is a woman who bagged a billionaire, if you like, from nowhere with a checkered past."
A marriage that only lasted four years seems to have had a lot crammed into it. Most of it, according to Mills, was bad. Leaked court papers have revealed she's accused McCartney of violent abuse. He has countered by accusing her of lying and calling her a fantasist. According to courtroom sources, McCartney's claims have made more of an impression on the judge.
British attorney Mark Stephens said that the court battle has taken a toll on Mills. She recently had an outburst in court which raised many eyebrows in the London legal community.
"There was shouting heard from inside the courtroom and she came bursting out, was in tears and had to be consoled," Stephens told The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith. "Clearly this truth and lies dossier is starting to get to her. They started to undermine her credibility at every possible turn taking every public utterance she's made about the marriage and the relationship and undermined it so she has no standing before the judge. So the judge can't believe anything she has to say. That … seems to be the tactic. Her legal team seems to be out-lawyered."
Stephens said the McCartney team has examined whether Mills was a prostitute or whether she posed for explicit photos, making the experience as harrowing as possible for her. Not only has McCartney's lawyers' tactics worked in court, they have also damaged Mills in the court of public opinion.
"In the battle for the PR, it really has to be Sir Paul McCartney," Sean said. "You've got to remember that he's got a 40-year history of people being in love with him and his music."
Both their reputations are at stake as is McCartney's reported $1.5 billion fortune and the fate of their daughter, Beatrice. She maybe down, but Sean says don't count Heather Mills out.
"This is a woman who is made of steel, hard as nails, she will come back," he said. "One way or another, Sir Paul will be paying for this marriage for a long, long time to come."
England seems firmly against Mills, who will star in the upcoming "Dancing with the Stars." She has said she wants to move to Los Angeles and take Beatrice with her.
"Sir Paul, who's been paying taxes in this country, a British resident, a British citizen and in those circumstances he obviously doesn't want to do that because he wants to see his daughter," Stephens said. "That's an issue, which is clearly going to be very live between them. I think at the end of the day, Heather is going to have to end up staying in this country with Beatrice just so Paul can see her."
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