Can anyone stop Heather Mills from talking? The sound of her voice is like chalk going backward on a chalkboard.
Her scene on the steps outside London family court Monday — after winning nearly $48 million from Paul McCartney for four years’ marriage — was the latest low point. She somehow doesn’t understand that this huge amount of money is not owed her. She’s extorted it.
McCartney, she announced in a press conference video that you can find on the Internet, offered her about $32 million to get her out of his hair. That wasn’t enough. Mills had to have more. Her shrill pronouncements have become tedious and are simply further signs of her instability.
What’s really scary about the courthouse-steps show is Mills’ constant reference to daughter Beatrice as “her daughter,” blaming McCartney for only giving the child $70,000 a year in support as if she is the sole custodial parent, and Beatrice will somehow suffer.
Mills shows her true colors when she carries on about Beatrice somehow being cut off from traveling first class on airplanes. “It’s very sad,” Mills declared.
It’s a performance, all right — a low, tacky, miserable showing that demonstrates almost no feeling for the little girl. She doesn’t think once how this press conference will affect the child, only that somehow she’s attacked and wounded McCartney.
Luckily, the entire divorce proceeding has been released to the public, in its entirety.
“Paul wants it public," Mills said. "He wants to look like he’s this generous support.”
McCartney, Mills said, did convince the judge he’s “only worth 400 million pounds” — or $800 million. “Everybody knows he’s worth 800 million pounds” — or $1.6 billion — “for the last 15 years.”
Mills’ attempts at wounding McCartney over and over again, she still doesn’t realize, are failures. The father of four successful, happy adult children simply cannot be painted as an ogre who wants the worst for his toddler daughter. But this is Mills’ miscalculation.
She did concede to the reporters that the $70,000 a year allotted for the child didn’t include her school fees (McCartney will pay those).
Mills continues, as if this makes any sense, “He likes her to fly five times a year and holidays, $17,000 for two people return first class. So that’s obviously not meant to happen anymore for her. It’s very sad.”
Earlier, on the same subject — one that’s acutely important to her — Mills said: “She is obviously meant to travel B class while her father travels A class, but I will take care of that.”
Will this nightmare ever end? Yes, and no. Mills has been gagged by the judge from revealing anything personal, from writing a book or giving any interviews. That’s a relief.
On the other hand, something tells me she’s not going away to hide or simply care for her daughter in a dignified way.
Even after receiving $48 million for doing nothing but being unsupportive and annoying, she’s petitioning the court for new fees having to do with security she claims Paul doesn’t provide for Beatrice.
Steven Spielberg is a mensch, and we can prove it. He’s donated $50,000 to start a matching grant fund in memory of actor Roy Scheider at the Stella Adler Acting Studio. Scheider, of course, starred in Spielberg’s first major hit, “Jaws.” He died last month at age 75.
The bequest was announced Monday night at the Adler Studio’s annual fundraising dinner, where actor Martin Sheen and our beloved colleague Liz Smith were each also honored.
In the audience at Cipriani’s 23rd Street hall in New York City were director Sidney Lumet, Kathleen Turner, Laura Linney, the great actor Anthony Zerbe as well as our pal Gerry Byrne, who’s just become the poo-bah at Nielsen’s entertainment unit (that includes The Hollywood Reporter).
Turner told us during cocktails (she had Absolut Citron) that she wasn’t there to present any awards or make any speeches. But somehow she managed to make a cute little prefatory speech at the mike before Stella Adler’s grandson got up to speak and start the show.
Turner is one of a kind, you know: She’s got a hit book out (jet lag prevented her from recalling the name of the publisher), and she’s also just directed “Crimes of the Heart” on Broadway — her directorial debut.
So now what? She’s not sure what’s next.
“I did a cameo in a little movie,” she told me, but she couldn’t remember much about it. Frankly, she’s all that’s missing from my favorite TV sitcom, “30 Rock.” Reuniting her and Alec Baldwin — they were on a soap opera 200 years ago — would send that show into some kind of uber nirvana.
If you’re in New York over the next few days, you can’t miss “The Greatest Love Story Ever Told,” up at the Beacon Theatre starting Tuesday through next Monday.
It’s produced by Ed. (with a period) Weinberger, the man who executive produced "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Taxi" and "The Cosby Show" — and won nine Emmy Awards along the way.
It’s Ed’s first foray into New York theater, and there’s a reason. The show was written by his son, Jack, who died tragically a couple of years ago from a drug overdose. He was just 21.
After that, Ed and his wife Carlene Watkins (an actress who’s been on countless TV shows) decided to launch the show in Jack’s memory. They rounded up heavyweights like Richard Roundtree (“Shaft”), Clifford Davis (who wrote “Never Can Say Goodbye” for the Jackson 5), Tatyana Ali and the gifted actress Anna Maria Horsford, who is also the director.
The result is an irreverent but still respectful version of Mary explaining to Joseph how exactly she got pregnant. The musical comedy is perfect for Easter weekend — and a fitting tribute to the Weinbergers’ son.