Heather Mills McCartney claimed she was close to suicide, compared herself to Princess Diana and the McCanns, and accused Paul McCartney of stalling on their divorce settlement in dramatic TV interviews today.
The estranged wife of Mr McCartney, 65, pledged to campaign to change the press laws, and said she had received death threats and wondered whether she might be “revered” like Linda McCartney if the “death threats came true”.
Mills McCartney, 39, choked back tears and put her head in her hands while attacking the media for subjecting her to the same treatment as Diana, Princess of Wales.
The former model told ITV shows GMTV and This Morning she was campaigning to change media legislation and that she had launched a petition to the European Parliament on the issue.
Mills McCartney, who is locked in a divorce battle with Mr McCartney, accused a “certain corner” of spinning stories about her.
Clutching a scrapbook containing what she said was newspaper apologies and evidence of aggressive paparazzi photographers, she said: “They make up such lies.
“They’ve called me a whore, a gold-digger, a fantasist, a liar, the most unbelievably hurtful things, and I’ve stayed quiet for my daughter.
“But my daughter... we’ve had death threats, I’ve been close to suicide. I’m so upset about this... I’ve had worse press than a paedophile or a murderer and I’ve done nothing but charity for 20 years.”
She told GMTV: “My sister was crying her eyes out because that awful Jordan and Peter Andre did a joke on Sunday and I’ve six amputee girls crying their eyes out because they’re getting bullied at school because people are joking about the loss of my limb.
“Jonathan Ross said ’She’s such an effing liar, we’re going to find out she’s got two legs instead of one’.”
She told GMTV: “I am the one that is abused daily. I have protected Paul for this long and I am trying to protect him but I am being pushed to the edge and I don’t want my daughter when she is 12 going on the internet and reading this totally one-sided story.
“My plan is to change the law in the European Parliament and I will do it.”
Mr McCartney’s estranged wife blamed some parts of the media for creating a hate campaign against her which put her life at risk.
“That’s why I considered killing myself,” she said.
“I have a box of evidence that’s going to a certain person should anything happen to me, so if you top me off it’s still going to that person, and the truth will come out,” she said.
“There is so much fear from a certain party of the truth coming out that lots of things have been put out and done, so the police came round and said ’you have had serious death threats from an underground movement’.
“That means my daughter’s life is at risk, because she’s with me all the time.”
Mills McCartney dismissed reports that she wanted a clause in her divorce settlement to allow her to talk about her story as “rubbish”.
She said she had legal debts of £1.5 million and that she lived in a “prison” of negative publicity.
“I can sell my story right now. I’m trying to protect Paul and our daughter. I am trying, and I’m being pushed to the edge”, she said.
“Look what they’re doing to the McCanns. The woman has lost, and the poor father, have lost their daughter. What are we doing as a nation?
“What are we doing persecuting a woman that is devastated behind closed doors and trying to hold it together, as I have for 18 months.
“What did the paparazzi do to Diana? They chased her and they killed her.
“Never mind all these other stories, that is what we are doing as a nation, buying these newspapers. Every time you buy one of those, you contribute to it. So force a change for responsible journalism.”
Mills McCartney said she was “gagged at the moment” about her divorce “because I’m not allowed to say a word while the media are fed this spin by a certain corner.”
And she appeared to blame the former Beatle for the fact that her divorce has not yet been settled.
She told This Morning: “If it was down to me, it (the divorce) would happen immediately. But it’s not down to me, so I think you should ask Paul.”
Mills McCartney said “other people’s so-called friends are putting stuff out right, left and centre.”
She defended going on the US TV show Dancing with the Stars, saying it was to raise money for charity, and said the only reason she had not moved to the US was to keep her daughter close to her father.
Mills McCartney said of the press attention: “Just imagine as a human being, being in that situation with your daughter, who I’ve waited for 15 years to have, after six miscarriages and two ectopic pregnancies.
“Suddenly I can’t be with her because there’s media everywhere and I want her to have a life.”
Mills McCartney told This Morning she was getting a bad press because she “married an icon”.
She said: “Because I married an icon and because we split up.
“But him and Linda didn’t split up, she went through the same and then she was revered when she died.
“Maybe if the death threats came true and I was dead the same thing might happen to me. But do we have to get to that point?”
She claimed to have the backing of the British Prime Minister for her campaign against tabloid newspapers, saying: “I spoke to Gordon Brown this morning and he thinks it’s a great idea.”
She added: “This is not just about me. It’s happened to me to push me to get the message out.”
A spokesman for the British Prime Minister said he had agreed to look at the “points she was raising... as he would with any such request.”
Sir Paul’s spokesman declined to comment.
The couple met in 1999 at a charity event and wed in 2002 at a remote countryside castle in Ireland.
Mills McCartney gave birth to the couple’s child, Beatrice, in the autumn of 2003 and the pair announced their separation in May last year.
The most sensational claims made during Mills McCartney’s acrimonious break-up with Mr McCartney came in an extraordinary document widely believed to have been leaked to the media by the Mills McCartney camp.
The document – which she denies leaking – made a series of remarkable claims about the ex-Beatle’s behaviour during their five-year marriage.
There were also claims that Mr McCartney changed the locks at the marital home, froze her bank account and removed £10 million-worth of paintings from her house.