Paul McCartney & Heather Mills: The Next Battle

07/14/2006 at 07:30 AM EDT

Paul McCartney & Heather Mills: The Next Battle
McCartney (left) and Mills
RICHARD JENNINGS/PN NEWS/LFI; Retna
In London, the latest twist in the Paul McCartney-Heather Mills McCartney divorce is the tale of the tape, PEOPLE reports in its new issue.

Recently a British tabloid claimed that 1) there's a tape of an incendiary phone conversation between the ex-Beatle and his daughter, fashion designer Stella McCartney; 2) the recording had fallen into Heather's hands; 3) Stella says very nasty things about Heather; and 4) Heather thereafter confronted Sir Paul.

Reps for Paul and Heather had no comment, and Stella's rep did not return calls.

The British press have long focused on the relationship between Heather and Sir Paul's kids, particularly Stella, 34. One of Paul's friends told PEOPLE in June, "We almost never saw a picture of (Heather and Stella) together. That says a lot."

As for the phone-call situation, "The lawyers have said that anybody connected with this (incident) can't discuss it," says a source close to Heather, who also claims Paul will not pay for Heather's driver/security guard except when she is with their two-and-a-half year-old daughter, Beatrice: "He's saying it's not his problem."

Are the soon-to-be exes fighting dirty? "It's taken a turn for the worse," says another close source. "Heather can be explosive, but Paul has a furious temper too. There are a lot more punches to come before the blood is on the mat."

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