Wednesday 23 October 2019

‘I never played Paul voicemail for Piers’: Heather Mills

Heather Mills: said that Piers Morgan was using her as a ''scapegoat'. Photo: PA
Heather Mills: said that Piers Morgan was using her as a ''scapegoat'. Photo: PA
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills outside Castle Leslie, in Glaslough, County Monaghan, ahead of their marriage in 2002. Photo: PA

HEATHER Mills, the former wife of rock icon Paul McCartney, said that she never disclosed private voicemail messages from her ex-husband to former tabloid editor Piers Morgan.

At the Leveson phone hacking inquiry in London yesterday it was suggested that Ms Mills may have leaked her own private voicemail messages from Paul to the Daily Mirror when Morgan was editor.

But Ms Mills said that Morgan was using her as a ''scapegoat''.

In a statement, Ms Mills said: "For the avoidance of doubt, I can categorically state that I have never ever played Piers Morgan a tape of any kind, never mind a voice message from my ex-husband.

"Piers Morgan is doing all he can to deter the Leveson inquiry from finishing their important job.

"Morgan is using me as his scapegoat and I would be more than happy to answer any questions that the inquiry would like to put to me.

"As stated in a press release by my ex-husband, he has never insinuated that I have leaked tapes of him to the media."

She added that she would be ''more than happy'' to answer any questions the inquiry had for her about the subject.

Morgan was questioned yesterday about an article he wrote in 2006 detailing a "heartbreaking" message left by the former Beatle for his then wife.

"He sounded lonely, miserable and desperate, and even sang We Can Work It Out into the answer phone," wrote Morgan.

Although he Insisted it was not "unethical" to have listened to the message he refused to say who played it to him as it would "compromise a source".

Lord Justice Leveson, the inquiry chairman, suggested he may be forced to call "the lady in question" to get to the bottom of the matter.

Morgan, speaking by video link from the US, said it had already been "stated as a fact" that Miss Mills recorded their conversations and had given them to the media.

Morgan, who hosts a chat show on the CNN network in the US, insisted he had never listened to illegally obtained telephone messages while editor of either the News of the World or the Daily Mirror.

He suggested that one private message left by Sir Paul McCartney on his former wife Heather Mills's voicemail, which was played to him, had been leaked by the former Lady McCartney herself.

Lord Justice Leveson told the inquiry that he was "perfectly happy" to summon Miss Mills to give evidence on the matter as it emerged that Rupert Murdoch could also be called to the inquiry.

"The only person who would lawfully be able to listen to the message is the lady in question or somebody authorised on her behalf to listen to it. Isn't that right?"

Morgan replied: "Possibly."

After the judge said he could call Miss Mills to explain whether she authorised Mr Morgan to listen to her messages, he said:

"All we know for a fact about Lady Heather Mills McCartney is that in their divorce case Paul McCartney stated as a fact that she had recorded their conversations and given them to the media."

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