Heather Mills is as well known for her charity work as her acrimonious divorce from Paul McCartney, and her life story is one of drama.

Mills was born in 1968 in Hampshire, England. Her mother left her and her siblings in the care of an abusive father when she was only nine years old. After her father was imprisoned Mills moved to London to live with her mother, but ran away when she was a teenager and eventually found work as a model. In 1989, her mother suddenly succumbed to a blood clot. While in Slovenia during 1990, Mills felt shocked by the carnage and brutality of the civil war. After she returned to London in 1993, Mills was hit by a police motorcycle and lost her left leg below the knee. Mills used her convalescence as an opportunity to call attention to the plight of war refugees, amputees and victims of land mines.

She married Paul McCartney in 2002, four years after McCartney’s first wife, Linda, died of breast cancer. Mills and McCartney were divorced several years later. She is now the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Association of the USA and continues to raise funds for refugees and other war victims. Mills is also a strong advocate of animal rights and patron of Viva, the UK’s largest animal rights and vegetarian organization. She and her famous ex-husband are both Advisory Board members of the Doris Day Animal League.

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