Update

Paul: Heather Didn't Marry Me for Money

UPDATED 05/17/2006 at 06:45 PM EDT Originally published 05/17/2006 at 07:00 AM EDT

Paul: Heather Didn't Marry Me for Money
Sir Paul and Heather Mills McCartney
Janet Gough/Celebrity Photo
Sir Paul McCartney has lashed out against speculation about how much money his estranged wife, Heather Mills, stands to gain in their divorce.

In a posting on his Web site on Wednesday, McCartney wrote, "It's been suggested that (Heather) married me for the money, and there is not an ounce of truth to this. She is a very generous person who spends most of her time trying to help others in greater need than herself."

McCartney and Mills, a former model and anti-landmine advocate, are separating after four years of marriage. NBC News reports that Mills, who has said McCartney turned down her offer to sign a prenuptial agreement, could claim as much as a quarter of his estimated $1.5 billion fortune.

Announcing their separation on Wednesday, the couple said in a joint statement: "Having tried exceptionally hard to make our relationship work given the daily pressures surrounding us, it is with sadness that we have decided to go our separate ways.

"Our parting is amicable and both of us still care about each other very much but have found it increasingly difficult to maintain a normal relationship with constant intrusion into our private lives, and we have actively tried to protect the privacy of our child.

"Separation for any couple is difficult enough, but to have to go through this so publicly, especially with a small daughter, is immensely stressful. We hope, for the sake of our baby daughter, that we will be given some space and time to get through this difficult period."

The couple married in June 2002 in a $3.2 million wedding in Ireland. Their daughter, Beatrice Milly, was born in October 2003.

NBC News reported Wednesday morning that Mills, who has said McCartney turned down her offer to sign a prenuptial agreement, could claim as much as a quarter of McCartney's estimated $1.5 billion fortune.

In a posting on his Web site on Wednesday McCartney defended Mills against critics who've said she had ulterior motives for marrying the singer. "It's been suggested that she married me for the money and there is not an once of truth to this," he wrote. "She is a very generous person who spends most of her time trying to help others in greater need than herself."

McCartney, 63, and Mills, 37, met through her charity work, the Heather Mills Health Trust, which provides prosthetic limbs to the needy and campaigns against landmines.

Mills – who now carries the title of Heather, Lady McCartney – formed the initiative after losing the lower part of her leg in a 1993 motorcycle accident.

The U.K. press has reported recently that McCartney and Mills have been living apart in the past few weeks. Mills's rep at first denied marital woes, telling PEOPLE, "She's getting a new leg fitted, and she's (in Hove), near where she's having it done. Paul's being very supportive."

McCartney has three children from his 29-year marriage to the former Linda Eastman, who died of breast cancer in 1998. They are Mary, 36, a photographer; Stella, 34, a fashion designer; and James, 28, a musician. McCartney also has a stepdaughter, Heather, 43, from Eastman's first marriage.

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