Paul McCartney Divorce Battle With Heather Mills Was Like Hell

Former Beatle Paul McCartney has likened his bitter divorce battle with Heather Mills to "going through hell" and said their daughter Beatrice and his music have helped him through the ordeal.

In an interview in Britain's Radio Times magazine, the 65-year-old also called Queen Elizabeth a "babe".

Asked if he regretted meeting and marrying Mills, 39, McCartney told the magazine: "Going through a divorce is a very painful thing. As Winston Churchill once said, 'If you're going through hell, keep going!'

"The only solution is to remain dignified. If I don't keep a silence about it, I lose this idea of being dignified. But I've a wonderful baby," he added, referring to the couple's child.

"She's a great joy to me, as are my elder children, so I'm a lucky man."

McCartney and Mills married in 2002 and announced their separation four years later. Their acrimonious divorce is expected to return to the courts in February after attempts last week to reach a private settlement failed.

British media have speculated that the pop legend, whose personal fortune is estimated at 825 million pounds, will have to pay between 20 million (NZ$53m) and 70 million pounds (NZ$188m) to Mills.

According to McCartney, music has also eased the pain of divorce.

"Music is a great healer," he said. "Music is the therapy for me. In fact, going through difficulties has only concentrated my desire to make good music."

Speaking about Britain's 81-year-old monarch, McCartney said: "I've got a lot of time for the Queen. She's fun, she's funny, she's amazing. The Queen's a babe!"

He said the Beatles considered reforming in 1976 when "phenomenal amounts of money" were being offered.

"But it just went round and round. There might be three of us thinking, 'You know, it might not be a bad idea', but the other one would go, 'Nah, I don't think so', and sort of veto it."

He explained he had no regrets about never reuniting with his Beatles bandmates, despite the long list of ageing rockers getting back together for lucrative tours.

"I'm actually glad of that now. Because the Beatles' work is a body of work. There's nothing to be ashamed of there. In the end we decided we should leave well enough alone.

"The potential disappointment of coming on and not being as good as the Beatles had been...that was a risk we shouldn't take."

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