LOS ANGELES (CN) - A publicist claims Heather Mills owes her $168,000 for 3 years work, during which she helped Mills through her divorce from Paul McCartney. Michele Elyzabeth Blanchard, CEO of plaintiff Parapluie, says Mills lied to her repeatedly during the 3 years she worked for Mills, who became famous for her fight against minefields.
In her Superior Court complaint, Blanchard says she worked for Mills from spring 2005 until July 2008, after meeting her at a party for an "Adopt-A-Minefield" benefit on Rodeo Drive. She says Mills agreed to hire her as her U.S. publicist, for "a flat fee of $5,000 a month plus expense and 10 percent of Mills' earning. Although Mills claimed that she did not receive enough money from her husband to pay plaintiff's standard fee, she promised to pay plaintiff as soon as she could afford to do so," the complaint states. "Plaintiff began working for Mills as of that day."
Blanchard says she "began brining deals to Mills right away," including an offer to sell "her own fragrance," through "Neil Katz, president of Gamini, maker of Tommy Bahama. But the deals plaintiff presented to Mills were eventually turned down or sabotaged by Mills."
Blanchard says she set up "a string of appearances for Mills on television shows, arranging for broadcasters to cover expenses incurred by Mills," and other projects including "endorsements, adverts and commercial deals."
Blanchard says she explained to Mills from the outset that "it was important that Mills provide true and correct information about herself so that no false information would be passed on to media outlets because, as Elyzabeth explained, lies can mislead the public and work against clients in the long run. Despite this, Mills constantly lied to plaintiff and the public, creating a false public image of herself and undermining plaintiff's ability to properly represent Mills. From the outset, Michele Elyzabeth was made to believe that Paul McCartney was a cheap tyrant who was often a drunk and abusive husband. Michele Elyzabeth believed her client."
Blanchard claims that Mills told her at the Vegan Glory restaurant in Los Angeles on Nov. 23, 2005 "that she planned to break up with her husband, claiming he behaved in a violent way towards her. She said: 'I cold kill him, last night he tried to choke me. This marriage is over. I am divorcing him as soon as we get back to England.' Both understood the divorce would generate a huge amount of negative publicity about Mills. Plaintiff worked with Mills to plan a strategy for counteracting the anticipated destruction of Mills' public image the divorce would cause around the world. Step one, Mills fired her publicist in England and hired plaintiff as her worldwide publicist, promising to take care of plaintiff's fees and expenses out of the divorce settlement. Michele Elyzabeth believed Mills and was determined to help her client get through the divorce with Mills' image intact."
Things spiraled downhill, according to the complaint. Blanchard says Mills called her in December 2005 "to announce she had left her husband. A few days later she insisted they were back together again." Mills told her in April 2006, at a meeting at McCartney's Beverly Hills home, that the divorce was on again, Blanchard says - though Mills had been telling the Media that they were staying together.