Sochi 2014: Heather Mills 'broke into a rage' and threatened to make someone's life 'miserable' after seeing Winter Paralympics dream ended
The former wife of Sir Paul McCartney was hoping to take part in the Games but allegedly lunged at a leading IPC official when those hopes were dashed
Thursday 19 December 2013
The extraordinary tale of Heather Mills’s attempt to ski in next year’s Winter Paralympics took another remarkable twist on Thursday when she was accused of calling a Paralympic official a “bitch” and screaming and shouting at the official in the wake of a decision not to ratify her use of a new prosthetic limb.
Mills, the former wife of Sir Paul McCartney, faces a fine of up to €1,000 (£840) and being reported to the International Paralympic Committee’s Legal and Ethics Commission following her alleged outburst in an Austrian hotel. The IPC said Mills, who announced on Monday that she would not compete at Sochi as a result of the IPC’s refusal to ratify her equipment, had a “wild tantrum” that saw her “verbally abuse” and “physically harass” one of their officials.
Sylvana Mestre, the head of the IPC’s skiing committee, told the BBC: “I was trying to explain to her that this is not the equipment we approved earlier in the year and then that was it, she exploded. She jumped on me. She started to say I was a bitch. She grabbed me from the back and she started to say that ‘you don’t know who I am, I will make your life miserable’. I don’t understand the reaction.”
The dispute revolves around whether Mills needs to wear a new boot cover over her prosthetic limb. The IPC believe her current prosthetic – she lost the lower half of her left leg in 1993 – and accompanying equipment is different to the one approved in July and required ratifying. They claim that when Mestre sought to explain the committee’s decision to seek further information and assurances before deciding whether to approve the boot, Mills, who had turned up unexpectedly at the meeting, lost her temper.
According to Craig Spence, the IPC’s director of communications, Mestre “had only got as far as saying ‘your boot has not been approved’, when [Mills] flew into a rage.”
Spence added: “She was screaming, ‘you’re a bitch, you’re a bitch, you don’t know who I am, I’m going to make your life miserable’. Sylvana tried to walk away and Heather moved and grabbed at her and had to be restrained by the British coach. It was harassment. It was absolutely disgraceful behaviour.”
A statement released by Mills’s representatives rejected the IPC’s version of events, and said Mills “waited patiently” and that Mestre had shouted at Mills. John Clark, Mills’s coach, claimed there is a “vendetta” against Mills and that Mestre had “deliberately put barriers in the way” of the 45-year-old.
Mills allegedly went into 'a rage'
It was on Monday after a race in Austria that the IPC discovered that Mills, who was considered to have an outside chance of a medal in Sochi having won World Cup silver in the adaptive slalom earlier this year, was not wearing the same equipment that had been approved in the summer.
Mills then announced she was withdrawing from Sochi because of what she considered unfair regulation. The British Paralympic Association then withdrew its application for a place at the Games which it had made on Mills’ behalf and confirmed she would not take part in Sochi.
According to the IPC, the meeting had not even ruled definitively whether Mills’s new equipment would be banned. It was decided if Mills submitted it for approval, and the prosthetic’s supplier agreed to any liability in case of an accident, it would be considered. Mills said the cover the IPC wanted her to wear over the limb caused “intolerable pain” and so decided not to wear it.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Daniel Sturridge injury latest: Liverpool striker says he is 'closer to fitness each day'
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal player ratings: How did Ozil and Welbeck do in Germany?
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City player ratings: Joe Hart? Thomas Muller? Jerome Boateng? Who was the star man?
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter