A federal appeals court in California has confirmed that Heather Mills, former model and ex-wife of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, will not have to pay her ex-publicist $168,000 in disputed fees. A three-judge panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Central District of California handed down the decision on February 14. The judges ruled that the plaintiff, Parapluie, Inc., had failed to provide “sufficient evidence” that Mills had misrepresented her ability to pay for the services at the time while she was awaiting “big money” in her divorce.
Michele Blanchard’s public relations firm Parapluie, Inc. filed the lawsuit against Mills in 2011. Mills used Blanchard as her PR rep from March 2005 to July 2008, but wasn’t paid for the first two years. According to court documents, Mills told Blanchard that she couldn’t afford Blanchard’s fee of $5,000 per month. However in March 2007, Mills agreed to pay a reduced fee of $3,000 per month after receiving an interim payment in her divorce.
Mills had told Blanchard “I’ll take care of you when I get the big money,” a reference to her anticipated final divorce settlement with McCartney. The judges ruled that “Mills’s statement is too vague to support a concrete promise to pay Blanchard $5,000 per month for future work and for work done two years prior.” The court’s memorandum adds that the “invoices Blanchard sent Mills beginning in April 2007 stated the ‘total amount due’ each month was $3,000, plus expenses.” The judges ruled that the invoices negated any claims that Mills retroactively pay for the first two years of unpaid work and the subsequent $2,000 per month discount.
Mills sought $250 million in her divorce from McCartney, but received $48.6 million.
The case is D.C. No. 2:11-cv-02548-MMM-SS.