Entertainment | Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:10pm GMT

Date set for McCartney divorce judgment

LONDON (Reuters) - Former Beatle Paul McCartney is due to learn on March 17 how many of his millions he must hand over to Heather Mills as part of their divorce settlement.

Mr Justice Hugh Bennett will deliver his judgment after the pair failed to reach a deal during five days of hearing behind closed doors at the High Court.

McCartney, whose fortune is generally estimated at 825 million pounds, married Mills, a former model, in 2002. The marriage between the 65-year-old and Mills, 40, lasted less than four years but the couple had a daughter, Beatrice.

Legal experts believe Mills is asking for 50 million pounds but that McCartney is offering less than half that sum.

Judgments involving this sort of wealth are usually given in public to give guidance to divorce lawyers but the hearings in this case took place behind closed doors after lengthy attempts by lawyers and judges to persuade McCartney and Mills to reach an agreement failed.

It is not clear whether the judge's decision will be made public.

If either side disputes the decision, however, and the case goes to the Court of Appeal, the hearings would be in open court and the details revealed.

Mills sacked her lawyers and represented herself in the legal battle while McCartney was represented by big-money divorce lawyer Nicholas Mostyn.

(Reporting by Avril Ormsby)

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