The Press Complaints Commission has rejected a complaint from Heather Mills that a Piers Morgan article inaccurately claimed he’d introduced her to Sir Paul McCartney.
The article was published under the headline ‘The 100 British celebrities who really matter’in the Mail on Sunday on 7 March, included criticism of Mills by Morgan.
The former Mirror editor turned Britain’s Got Talent judge described how he felt “eternal shame” at having “introduced [Mills] to Paul [McCartney]”, her former husband.
Through her representative David Law, Mills complained to the PCC that Morgan’s claim of introducing the couple, at the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards in 1999, was factually incorrect.
Mills said that they had not met during the event itself, let alone been physically introduced by Morgan.
She said the article also inaccurately stated that she was the writer of “nothing but bleating letters of complaint to newspapers and divorce lawyers” in contrast to McCartney who, Morgan had claimed, was “the brilliantly talented writer of Yesterday and Hey Jude”.
Mills told the PCC she had, in fact, “written at least three books and is currently working on another”.
The Mail on Sunday told the PCC Morgan had, in his capacity as the then-editor of the Daily Mirror, invited both Mills and McCartney to the Pride of Britain event.
It was his recollection, the newspaper added, that he had physically introduced the couple that evening and, as such, Morgan was the conduit for their relationship.
The Mail on Sunday said the claim had been made on numerous occasions over the years and had not previously been called into question by either Mills or McCartney.
The PCC said was not disputed that at the Pride eventMcCartney had seen Mills for the first time, that he contacted her shortly afterwards (apparently at Morgan’s suggestion) and that he and Mills subsequently began dating.
The PCC ruled: ‘Given that Mr Morgan had invited both guests to the event, the commission did not consider that it was misleading to suggest that he had effectively been the means to their introduction.”
With regard to Mills’ second complaint of inaccuracy, the commission acknowledged that Mills had written a number of books.
‘However, in the context of a comment piece, the commission considered that readers would generally have recognised that Mr Morgan was making a rhetorical point about the relative merits or memorability (in his personal view) of Sir Paul McCartney’s written work and Ms Mills’ written work,’the PCC added.