McCartney and Mills granted divorce

LONDON Mon May 12, 2008 2:00pm BST

Paul McCartney (R), and lawyer Fiona Shackleton arrive at the High Court in London March 17, 2008. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

Paul McCartney (R), and lawyer Fiona Shackleton arrive at the High Court in London March 17, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Kieran Doherty

LONDON (Reuters) - The ill-fated marriage of former Beatle Paul McCartney and his estranged wife Heather Mills came to a formal end during a 30-second hearing at London's High Court on Monday.

Justice Hugh Bennett said the petition for divorce by Mills was granted on the grounds that the couple had lived apart for two years.

Neither McCartney nor Mills were in court for the decree nisi.

Bennett said: "On the petition for divorce presented by Miss Heather Mills, I pronounce the decree nisi of divorce on the grounds of two years' separation.

"Sir Paul McCartney has consented to the decree being granted on these grounds."

The brief hearing contrasted with the protracted and bitter fight over the divorce settlement earlier this year.

In March, the judge blasted Mills, branding her evidence as "inconsistent and inaccurate."

He ended up awarding Mills 24.3 million pounds -- a fifth of the sum she had been seeking. That still gave her the equivalent of about $34,000 for each day of the four-year marriage.

McCartney married the former model and charity campaigner in 2002, four years after his first wife Linda died of breast cancer. They have a daughter, Beatrice.

(Reporting by Avril Ormsby and Paul Majendie)

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