12 FEBRUARY 2008

Looking tense and declining to comment, Heather Mills and her estranged husband Paul McCartney left court on Monday afternoon after the first day of their private court hearing - a case being dubbed the biggest divorce battle in British history.

While Paul was joined by his legal team - which includes two of the finest law brains in the country - Heather was accompanied by her make-up artist, personal trainer, her sister Fiona and a lone solicitor to advise on legal protocol as she represents herself in court.

The former model and anti-landmines campaigner was first to present her case as proceedings got underway behind closed doors at London's High Court. The tack she was expected to take is that her marriage to the 65-year-old musician has made her a hate figure, and as such unemployable.

While she is expected to ask for close to £100 million of her husband's estimated £825 million fortune, friends say the 40-year-old's primary concern is justice.

"Money is not her motivation. She simply feels that there is injustice here, that her life was wrecked by marriage to Paul McCartney," says Heather's former publicist Phil Hall. And he believes she'll make a good job of representing herself. "I think she can control her emotions and I think she will be very cool, calm and collected."

Heather is believed to have shown the jury a video of her being followed by photographers to highlight claims she and the couple's four year-old-daughter Beatrice need constant security. The footage is understood to include a two-minute film entitled Hunting Heather, during which she talks about her concerns about her safety.

Unless the couple have a change of heart and decide to settle out of court the judge will decide how much of Paul's fortune Heather is entitled to after listening to arguments from both sides. Only if one of the parties decides to appeal against the decision and take the dispute to the court of appeal, will details of the figures involved ever be made public.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The former model was looking tense as she left court with her sister Fiona on Monday afternoon after the first day of the hearing, during which she represented herselfPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Heather's estranged husband looked equally as serious as he headed off with his £500-an-hour lawyer Fiona Shackleton, who will lead his legal team during the five-day hearingPhoto: © Getty Images
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