(headline banner from News of the World 10th Feb 2008)
After over 18 months of mud slinging and sensational headlines, the Mucca v Macca divorce settlement dispute finally reaches the High Court this coming week. Heather Mills-McCartney - Mucca - has received a mauling at the hands of the media, attacking her from every angle and not shying from brining the unfortunate loss of her leg into play. As a last minute 'sweetner' the News of the World today offered an exlusive under the headline 'Rumpy Stumpy'. Conveniently placed to appear before her court appearance the exposee claims that she 'cheated' on Macca with a former lover. This does appear (certainly from the dated photographs) to be digging up dirt from a time before she was married to Macca but the timing is caused to add to the reputational damage that has been inflicted on her as she pursues her financial settlement with Macca. What is unfortunately forgotten in this acrimonious split while both parties try to manipulate or defend their respective positions into place, is that their daughter will have to live with the fall out from this and will one day get to read some of the venimous copy that has crossed many a tabloid front page.
It seems a shame that the lawyers can't do a deal on this and will let the whole sordid slagging match find its endgame in court. Whatever went on behind closed doors, its not Mucca or Macca who one should be feeling sorry for - they know the score and can't switch media coverage off when it no longer pleases them - but thier daughter.
There is little doubt that much of what's appeared in the press about Mucca could be seen as defamatory but given the level to which her reputation has been trashed it would be difficult to make an action against one specific title stick - or perhaps not - maybe the conclusion of the divorce proceedings will see a new wave of libel actions - that would certainly inject some fun into what's started as a relatively quiet year for the defamation bench.
More on Mucca v Macca
Could she sue? - Trial by Media