Heather Mills McCartney, the estranged wife of Paul McCartney, said Tuesday the couple will divorce, and that she plans to sue newspapers that have been digging into her past, according to a statement released by her lawyers.

The couple had not mentioned "divorce" when they announced May 17 that they had "decided to go our separate ways" after four years of marriage.

Since that announcement, she has been the subject of several unflattering newspaper articles that included pictures of her in naked or semi-naked poses.

The News of the World, a mass-circulation Sunday newspaper, has written lurid stories that she spent nights with wealthy men when she was in her 20s.

"Heather is very distressed by this article," said the statement from the law firm of Coyle White Devine, adding that she will sue for libel.

"She will defer issue of legal proceedings until the arrangements in relation to the divorce are concluded but intends to sue at that stage all parties (including individuals) who are intent on damaging her reputation."