Heather Mills Biography

Animal Rights Activist, Anti-War Activist, Philanthropist, Model, Reality Television Star, Activist (1968–)
Heather Mills is best known as the ex-wife of musician Paul McCartney as well as for her activism and philanthropy.


Heather Mills is a British activist, philanthropist and former model born on January 12, 1968, in Aldershot, England. As a young adult she modeled, but while in London a police motorcycle struck her in 1993, resulting in the loss of her left leg below the knee. Interested in activism, Mills used her plight to bring awareness to the suffering of refugees. In 2002, she married famed Beatles member Sir Paul McCartney after meeting him at a charity event a few years earlier. Together they had one daughter, and then divorced in 2006. The next year she competed on the reality television show Dancing with the Stars. Mills works with several charities including PETA and Adopt-a-Minefield.

Early Life

Public figure, model and philanthropist Heather Mills was born on January 12, 1968, in Aldershot, Hampshire, England. When she was just 9 years old, Mills's mother left her and her siblings in the care of her abusive father. After her father went to prison, Mills ended up in London, living with her mother. As a teenager, Mills ran away from home and found herself homeless. Mills tried her hand at modeling and found her calling. She became quite successful and, in 1989, she reunited with her mother, only to lose her to a blood clot developed during minor surgery.

Mills married Alfie Karmal in 1989, but the two divorced in 1991. In 1990, Mills moved to Yugoslavia to take a break from modeling. While there she was horrified by the injuries caused by the civil war raging around her. She turned to modeling once again to raise money for war refugees. Back in London in 1993, she was struck by a police motorcycle and lost her left leg below the knee. Mills used her injuries to call attention to the plight of all refugees and even conducted interviews from her hospital bed.

Marriage to Paul McCartney

Mills continued her activism and became engaged to Chris Terrill, a filmmaker. Just before their wedding, Mills met and fell in love with Sir Paul McCartney, of The Beatles fame. McCartney and Mills were married in Ireland in June 2002, four years after the death of McCartney's first wife, Linda. Heather and Paul have since divorced, but their union produced one child: Beatrice Milly McCartney, born in 2003.

In Recent Years

In 2007, Mills performed as a contestant on the hit series Dancing with the Stars. Her Dancing with the Stars performance on the show was deemed an inspiration by many viewers, as it helped prove that people with disabilities (Mills has a prosthetic leg) could compete at the same level as the show's able-bodied contestants. She was voted off of the show several weeks into the competition. Mills was a contestant on another dancing show in 2009, Dancing on Ice.

In conjunction with her humanitarian work, Mills is committed to animal rights. She campaigns against the use of cat and dog fur in clothing and visited eastern Canada with her then husband to protest the annual seal hunt there. She is an active member of PETA and Viva!, Britain's leading vegetarian, vegan and animal rights organization. She is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Association of the USA. Mills is a patron the Adopt-a-Minefield and proceeds from her updated autobiography, A Single Step, will be donated to that cause.

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