Mills accused of abusing Paralympic official

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 19, 2013 at 10:27 am •  Published: December 19, 2013
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The former wife of Beatles star Paul McCartney was accused Thursday of lunging at a Paralympic official in a fit of rage and screaming insults after being forced to abandon her attempt to qualify for the British skiing team for next year's games.

Heather Mills' hopes of competing in Sochi ended Monday when the International Paralympic Committee ruled that a new prosthetic she was using hadn't been ratified by the governing body. An application for a place in Britain's team was withdrawn.

IPC spokesman Craig Spence told The Associated Press that the 45-year-old Mills "flew into a rage" when she confronted ski committee head Sylvana Mestre at a team captains' meeting in a hotel in Austria on Monday. She then swore at the official and said "you don't know who I am, I'm going to make your life miserable."

"Sylvana is deeply upset, traumatized," Spence said. "She (Mills) verbally abused Sylvana, and started to push her. There were 10 witnesses in the room who saw what went on."

Mills will likely be fined up to 1,000 euros ($1,370) and the incident will be referred to the IPC's legal and ethics committee for its consideration.

Mills has been one of the most high-profile athletes attempting to qualify for the Sochi Paralympics, having begun a career in skiing soon after she divorced McCartney in 2008.

She lost her left leg below the knee in 1993 when she was involved in a road accident with a police motorcycle. She also suffered crushed ribs, a punctured lung and multiple fractures of the pelvis in the accident.

A former model, Mills is also a well-known charity campaigner and goodwill ambassador for the United Nations.

"Para-athletes are role models and an inspiration to billions of people around the world," Spence said in an IPC statement released Thursday. "We understand the pressure athletes are under in the lead-up to Sochi 2014 and that Heather has been working extremely hard to achieve her goal.

"However, there can be no excuse for such aggressive and intimidating behavior towards such a highly respected and experienced official within the Paralympic Movement."



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