LONDON – Heather Mills is expected to be awarded a lump sum of $50 million to $60.6 million in her divorce battle with Paul McCartney — the sum originally offered by the former Beatle.
On top of the lump sum, which may be paid in installments, there will be annual maintenance payments for the couple’s daughter, Beatrice, which could be as much as $202,000.
The draft judgment drawn up by Justice Bennett is now with the parties and will be formally delivered on Monday.
The judge will then hear argument as to whether some or all of his judgment should be made public.
But if both sides agree that they do not want any publicity, then the judgment will not be released.
Mills could now oppose publicity beyond the bare terms of the order as she may hope to reveal details of the couple’s marriage in interviews, a book or film.
Any public version would almost certainly be heavily revised but would aim to end speculation on how much McCartney is paying the former model from his reputed $1.7 billion fortune.
There have been reports of demands from Mills varying between $20.2 million and $162 million to end the four-year marriage.
If either she or McCartney do not agree with the judge’s verdict, the case could go to the Court of Appeal where High Court Family Division secrecy ends and the whole of the case will be in the public eye.
If, as expected, the judge has decided on a sum of $50 million to $60.6 million — a sum in line with predictions of specialist matrimonial lawyers — then Mills will not have received any more than originally on the table when she had the opportunity to reach a settlement with McCartney in the autumn.
However, she might have won her freedom not to be bound by a confidentiality clause. That refusal meant that that no agreement in the autumn could be reached and the issue therefore had to go before a judge.
Marilyn Stowe, a family lawyer, said that she had predicted an award of $40.4 million to $60.6 million. “Sir Paul’s famously frugal living standards will work in his favor,” she said.