Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Heather Mills - Biography

The former model was married to Beatles' superstar, Paul McCartney

Heather Mills wearing pink suit on red carpet
Share this:

Heather Mills' Upbringing

Born on January 12, 1968, in Aldershot, England, Heather Mills grew up in a difficult environment. The relationship between her father Mark, a former paratrooper, and his wife Beatrice was characterised by violence. Before Heather had turned ten her mother became involved with an actor and moved out of the family home, leaving the three children with their abusive father. Three years later, with her father imprisoned for fraud, Heather was back home with her mother. 

A headstrong teenager, she didn't get along with her mum's boyfriend, however, and by the age of 17 was living on the streets, apparently in a "cardboard box under Waterloo station". An arrest followed in the mid-Eighties after she stole jewellery worth £20,000, and she was put on probation. 

Heather Mills' Young Adulthood

A year later she met and later married British computer executive Alfie Karmal, who encouraged the 18-year-old's modelling aspirations. She went on to establish her own small agency, ExSell Management, which she sold in 1989. After two years her marriage to Alfie floundered when she left him for a Slovenian ski instructor. At the offset of the Croatian War and profoundly affected by the atrocities of the conflict, Heather established a refugee crisis centre in Yugoslavia. 

Heather Mills' Road Accident

Back in London to raise funds for the project, Heather found her life changed forever when, in August 1993, she was hit by a speeding police motorcycle as she stepped off a curb. The accident cost her the lower half of her left leg. 

Suddenly, as an amputee, she found herself in a similar situation to the war refugees on whose behalf she had so tirelessly campaigned. Despite her own private distress, she continued to work with the disabled, organising a programme called the Heather Mills Health Trust which ran from 2000-2004 and sent discarded prosthetic limbs abroad to amputees.

How Heather Mills met Paul McCartney

Heather was presenting at a charitable awards ceremony at London's Dorchester in May 1999 when she met the man who would change her life - former Beatle Paul McCartney. Clearly intrigued by the blonde activist's presentation, The Beatles singer was quick to get in touch. 

Their shared passion for charity work led to romance - much to Heather's surprise. "I thought he was very cute but it didn't enter my head that he fancied me," she said later. The couple became engaged during a visit to the Lake District and tied the knot in front of 300 guests at a church in the grounds of Ireland's 17th-century Castle Leslie on 11 June 2002. A daughter, Beatrice Milly McCartney, was born the following year on 28 October 2003. 

Heather and Paul McCartney's Separation

The relationship came under pressure, however, as Heather endured repeated criticism from the press. Paul found himself having to defend his wife against accusations she had married him for his money. In May 2006, after four years, the couple announced they were separating. A joint statement said they had "found it increasingly difficult to maintain a normal relationship with constant intrusion into our private lives".

RELATED: Sir Paul McCartney's lavish homes are a far cry from his Liverpool upbringing – details 

The divorce process was bitter, with Heather reportedly asking for $250 million in settlement fees and receiving $24.3 million instead from McCartney. However, with the money she has apparently donated a lot of it to various charities and also in 2009 she created VBites, a vegan restaurant which closed in 2017. After procuring Redwood Foods, a vegan food company that owns different brands, she now owns the “Silicon Valley of vegan food production,” as well as three vegan food production plants. 

Heather Mills in Recent Years

More recently, she has started her own vegan friendly and cruelty-free makeup brand called Be At One, as well as dating film producer Mike Dickman in 2016 after putting a business card in his pocket saying “I think you’re hot, email me” attached with her contact details. Heather and her beau are now set to wed with rumours that it will be this year.

More Profiles

See more