Heather Mills, born in 1968 in Washington, Tyne and Wear, England, is no stranger to adversity. Her father, Mark, a former paratrooper, was abusive towards Heather and her family. When Heather's mother managed to escape, nine-year-old Heather was left to care for her younger brother and sister whilst living with their father. trouble from the start
When Heather was 13, her father was imprisoned for fraud, and Heather went to live with her mother and her mother's new boyfriend, with whom the young teenager didn't get along. Headstrong Heather soon ran away to live on the street. Later, she was arrested for stealing jewelry from the London store where she worked, and she was put on probation.
When Heather was 18, she met British computer exec Alfie Karmal. He encouraged her to start modeling, which she did after winning a modeling competition. Soon enough, she decided to make her way behind the scenes and started her own modeling agency, ExSell management, in 1986. Heather married Karmal when she was 21, but the marriage failed shortly afterward. In the early 1990s, Heather moved to Yugoslavia to become a ski instructor. When civil war broke out in the Balkans, Heather was inspired to help, and set up a refugee crisis center in London, donated her modeling income to help relief efforts, and traveled back and forth between England, Austria and Yugoslavia. the day that changed it all
On August 8, 1993, during another visit to London, Heather was the victim of a terrible accident. While she was crossing the street, a police motorcycle, responding to an emergency call, struck the young model, knocking her into the air and severing her left leg. In addition to repairing cracked ribs, multiple fractures and a punctured lung, surgeons amputated Heather's leg below the knee. At first, the shock of the accident was too much to bear.
But Mills remembered that she had been through tough times before, and was soon inspired. Realizing that there were many discarded artificial limbs in Britain and other developed countries (since the wounds they are attached to often change size and shape), Heather saw a solution to the desperate need for artificial limbs in places like war-torn Croatia. She founded the Heather Mills Health Trust, and organized the shipping of 25,000 recycled prostheses to the Balkans. She also became a spokeswoman for Adopt-A-Minefield (a U.N. campaign dedicated to clearing the more than 60 million landmines left behind after wars in more than 70 countries), a cause that Princess Diana was dedicated to. can't buy her love
While at a charity event in London in May 1999, Heather caught the eye of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, who, impressed with Heather's work, donated to her organization. Over the next few months, the two saw more and more of each other, and speculation in the press ran wild over their relationship. On March 15, 2000, McCartney confirmed that they were indeed "an item," and the couple announced that they would marry the following year. There was some delay, however, but they were finally wed in Ireland's Castle Leslie, in Glaslough, on June 11, 2002.
Nevertheless, media attention has made the last year a strain for Mills. Heather says it has been "worse than the year I lost my leg." The British tabloid press attacked her almost daily, and alleged that she had a poor relationship with McCartney's grown children, James, Mary, Stella, and stepdaughter, Heather. But the new Lady McCartney denies the rumors, and claims that she gets along extremely well with Paul's children (especially after she proved her good intentions by offering to sign a prenup, barring her from the McCartney fortune, and dispelling tabloid speculation that she is a gold digger). step by step
Heather's modeling career was even renewed when she became the face of women's fashion brand INC International Concepts. A percentage of the company's earnings were even donated to Adopt-A-Minefield and the campaign promised to raise awareness of the landmine crisis. Further proving Mills' goodwill and tireless commitment to the causes she believes in, the proceeds of her autobiography, A Single Step, all went to Adopt-A-Minefield as well.
As for Heather and Sir Paul, despite the unavoidable conflicts that two headstrong, super-successful people might have, they're happy with each other. It really seems like all you need is love.