Heather Mills' media strategy backfires

Heather Mills' failure to stop her divorce judgement from being made public is down to poor media handling on her part, according to a top legal PR adviser.

Heather Mills
Heather Mills

The previously unknown det­ails of the judgement with Sir Paul McCartney were made public this week, after a court refused Mills' application for secrecy.

Byfield Consultancy boss Richard Elsen said: ‘The PR tactics used in this case have clearly backfired for Heather Mills, who will not be pleased at the judgement being made public.

‘It was a bit rich to try to prevent its publication, when details of the divorce proceedings were made available to the media through anonymous briefings and leaks.'

Elsen added that Mills had tried to have the best of both worlds. He said: ‘This should serve as a warning to others in similar situations - the correlation between the widespread coverage deliberately sought and the judge's decision to make the judgement public is clear for all to see.

You can't have it both ways, and while the publication of the full judgement is highly unusual, many observers will not be surprised under the circumstances.'

Mills is said to have wan­ted the judgement kept private because of its criticism of her. She had argued it would com­promise their daughter's privacy. Sir Paul had lobbied for its release.

Sir Paul this week sealed an emphatic victory over his ex-wife after a judge awarded her £24.3m, less than a fifth of the £125m she sought from their four-year marriage.

Mills parted with PR consultant Phil Hall in November 2007 after berating newspapers on GMTV against his advice. He said he opposed her action because ‘I have a good relationship with newspapers and my business depends on feeding that relationship'.

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