Sunday, July 09, 2006


The press has been waiting a couple of weeks since the last flurry of legal action to kick Heather Mills about a bit, and the temptation has finally got too much for the Sunday Mirror, which has got hold of something fresh:

AN EXPLOSIVE phone conversation between Sir Paul McCartney and his daughter Stella about the breakdown of his marriage and impending divorce has been secretly BUGGED, the Sunday Mirror can reveal.

Goodness. Naturally, the Mirror must only be reporting this because it's outraged at a third party illegally intruding on the McCartney's privacy and eavesdropping on what they believed to be a private conversation. We expect the paper has only splashed it on its front page as part of the investigation to reveal who the bugger is, right?

It is not known who bugged Macca's call - it is a criminal offence under The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to intercept calls whether made on a landline or by mobile and is punishable by up to two years in jail.

Oddly, though, this doesn't seem to have stopped the paper detailing the contents of the phone call in full.

Well, not quite full:

Stella also makes scathing remarks about Heather's charity work and wellbeing which cannot be repeated for legal reasons.

So, the Mirror is happy to run with stuff that's been obtained illegally, but not if it risks a libel action as a result. Clearly, the only way you can keep your private conversations out of the Trinity Mirror group is to slip in an awful lot of libellious stuff. Certainly from now on, we always tell the people ringing up from the 3G Network stuff about Sly Bailey that would make your hair curl, just in case the conversation otherwise turns up in the MerseyMart the following week.

Besides propping up the dwindling readership of the Sunday Mirror, the tapes have made their way into Heather Mills' hands, with the end result that Heather has apparently banned Stella from contact with Bea, her half-sister.

Since Stella hadn't exactly given Heather the warmest welcome into the family, and was widely reported singing "ding-dong, ding-dong, the wicked witch is dead" (more or less) when the news was broken that the marriage had broken, surely it can't have come as that much of a surprise to her? "I always thought you just really hated me and despised my usurping of the position of your mother in the household and considered me a gold-digger and would go round telling as much to all and sundry, but I never thought you were as cruel as to say all that while being secretly tape-recorded as well. What sort of monster are you?"

It's like the media are approaching this as if it was a Big Brother task - there's a metaphorical clock depicting Heather's divorce pay-off, and she's stood in the garden as they fling crap at her while the pay-off clicks upwards a hundred thousand or so every weekend. At some point, she'll have to scream out "decree nisi" and wave her hand in the air, whereupon she'll get her payout and the flinging will cease. The more crap you can withstand, the less "quickie" the divorce, and the bigger the cash prize at the end.