Dancing with the Stars Wiki
Heather Mills
Celebrity Profile
Birth Date 12 January 1968 (1968-01-12) (age 56)
Hometown Aldershot, Hampshire, England
Known For Model & charity campaigner

Dancing with the Stars 4

Partner(s) Jonathan Roberts
Placement 7th
Highest Score 24 (Mambo & Jive)
Lowest Score 18 (Foxtrot)
Average Score 22.2

Heather Anne Mills is a celebrity from season 4 of Dancing with the Stars.

Early Life[]

Heather Mills was born in Aldershot, Hampshire, to John "Mark" Francis Mills, a former British paratrooper, and his wife, Beatrice Mary Mills, née Finlay, who was the daughter of a colonel in the British Army. Her father was adopted at age seven and grew up in Brighton, where his foster parents had a grocery shop, although his foster-father also worked as a mechanic for a Grand Prix racing team. Her mother was born in India, during World War II, but was educated at English boarding schools. They met at Newcastle University, and were married against the wishes of Finlay's father, who did not attend the wedding and only saw his daughter once more before he died.

Beatrice spoke several languages and played the piano, and Mark played banjo and guitar, liked photography (winning an Evening Standard award), and took part in numerous sports. He was very fond of animals (working for the RSPCA for a time), and Mills remembered her family always having a dog and a cat, as well as once having a pet goose and a white nanny goat that was allowed to roam the house owned by Mark's parents in Libanus, near Brecon.

The Mills family spent their holidays in Libanus and also lived there for a time. When Mills was six years old, the family moved north to Alnwick, in Northumberland, but moved shortly after to a block of flats in Washington, Tyne and Wear, and then on to Cockshott Farm, in Rothbury, Northumberland. She attended Usworth Grange Primary school, and then Usworth Comprehensive school in Washington. She visited Usworth Comprehensive in 2003, as guest of honour at a prize-giving event and to support the school against plans for its closure.

Mills later wrote that she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a swimming pool attendant when she was eight years old, but her next-door neighbor, Margaret Ambler, who was sexually abused by the swimming pool attendant, alleged that Mills' story was "nothing what she made it out to be", that Mills was never a victim, and the pool attendant did not commit suicide, as Mills had written. Although having received a letter from Mills offering £10,000 to stop a court case, Ambler complained that the story had caused her deep discomfort by bringing the incident to national attention, so she sued for breach of privacy, accepting an out-of-court settlement of £5,000 in compensation, and £54,000 legal costs.

Beatrice left home when Mills was nine years old, which left her, her older brother Shane, and her younger sister, Fiona, in the care of their father. Mills said that her father once threw her brother against a window for making a mess on the carpet with crayons. The window broke and her brother had to be taken to hospital, where their father explained that the boy had fallen on some glass in the garden. Fiona said: "Our family were always short of money and our father demanded that we find food and clothes so we turned to shoplifting, learnt to hide from the bailiffs and became experts at domestic duties. I'm not ashamed to say that we were forced to steal because when you are a young child, you’d rather do that than face a beating from your father". Their father disputed his daughters' allegations that he was violent towards them, later releasing home movies of family holidays in Wales, showing Mills playing happily.

London and Modeling[]

When her father was jailed for eighteen months after being convicted of fraud, she left home with her sister to live with her mother and partner (Crossroads actor Charles Stapley), in Clapham, London, although her brother went to Brighton to live with his paternal grandparents. She later wrote that at the age of fifteen she ran away to join a funfair, and then lived in a cardboard box under Waterloo station for four months, although Stapley denied this by saying that she occasionally left home at weekends to travel with a young man who worked for a funfair in London. During her stated period of homelessness, her school records indicate that she and her sister were both enrolled at Usworth comprehensive in Tyne and Wear until April 1983, and then at Hydeburn Comprehensive, in Balham, on 6 June 1983, where they both stayed until 2 July 1984. She remembered that a teacher at the Hydeburn once said, "there's no hope for her at all", and that she left school with no academic qualifications. In the same year, her father had another daughter, Claire Mills, with a new partner. Mills worked for a croissant shop, but was sacked, and vowed "never to work for anyone else again." She later wrote that the owner of a jewelry shop in Clapham gave her a job on Saturdays, but Jim Guy, the owner of Penrose Jewelers, later stated: "Everything she wrote about me was lies, I never gave her a job; she just hung around and made tea. She told me her father was dead. The only thing that was true was she nicked stuff from the shop," which Guy said was worth £20,000. She admitted that she had stolen some gold chains and sold them to buy a moped, and when Guy reported the theft, she was put on probation.

Alfie Karmal, the son of a Palestinian father and Greek mother, was ten years older than Mills when they met in 1986. Karmal bought her new clothes and Cartier jewelry, and paid for cosmetic surgery when she complained that her breasts were sagging. She later said that she had had a breast reduction operation, reducing her bra size from a 34E to a 34C. so Karmal, who had moved into the computer industry, set up a model agency for her, ExSell Management, although it was not successful. In 1987, Mills went to live in Paris, telling Karmal that a cosmetics company had given her a modelling contract, but became the mistress of millionaire Lebanese businessman George Kazan for two years and took part in a photo session for a stills-only German sex education manual called Die Freuden der Liebe (The Joys of Love).

After returning to London, Mills asked Karmal to marry her. Karmal said yes, but on one condition: "I told her I couldn't marry her until she did something about her compulsive lying, and she agreed to see a psychiatrist for eight weeks. She admitted she had a problem and said it was because she'd been forced to lie as a child by her father". Although Mills proposed to Karmal, she later said that every man she has been out with "has asked me to marry him within a week". The couple married on 6 May 1989. While married to Karmal, she suffered two ectopic pregnancies, so Karmal paid for her to go on holiday to Croatia with his children and ex-wife (with whom Mills had become friends) in 1990, but Mills ended up living with her ski instructor, Miloš Pogačar, shortly before the Croatian War began. Mills then set up a refugee crisis centre in London, helping over 20 people to escape the war. She drove by herself to deliver donations to Croatia, taking modelling assignments in Austria on the way to pay for the trip, later saying that she "worked on the front line in a war zone in the former Yugoslavia for two years where there were mines everywhere that weren't marked". Karmal and Mills were divorced in 1991 and Mills was later engaged to Raffaele Mincione (a bond dealer for the Industrial Bank of Japan) in 1993.

Accident and Amputees[]

On 8 August 1993, Mills and Mincione walked to the corner of De Vere Gardens and Kensington Road, London, but while crossing Kensington Road, Mills was knocked down by a police motorcycle (the last in a convoy of three), which was responding to an emergency call. Mills suffered crushed ribs, a punctured lung, and the loss of her left leg six inches below the knee; a metal plate was later attached to her pelvis. In October 1993, she had another operation which further shortened her leg. Mills was awarded £200,000 by the police authority as recompense for her injuries, even though the police motorcyclist, PC Osbourne, was later cleared by magistrates of driving without due care and attention. After the accident, Mills sold her story to the News of the World, and gave other interviews, saying she earned £180,000. She used the money to set up the Heather Mills Health Trust (existed 2000–2004) which delivered prosthetic limbs to people, particularly children, who had lost limbs after stepping on landmines. Mills often shows people her prosthetic leg, once taking it off during an interview on the American talk show Larry King Live, in 2002.

Mills booked herself into the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, which put her on a raw food vegan diet, using wheat grass and garlic poultices to heal her wound. After an operation, Mills discovered that she had been previously identified as having an O rhesus negative blood type, when in fact she was A rhesus negative, which had interfered with her attempts to follow the so-called blood type diet. As her prosthetic leg had to be replaced on a regular basis (because the size of the amputated stump kept changing as it healed), she had the idea to collect thousands of discarded prosthetic limbs for amputees in Croatia. Mills persuaded the Brixton prison governor to get inmates to dismantle and pack the prosthetic limbs before being transported, which resulted in 22,000 amputees obtaining limbs in addition to the Croatian citizens who were already supplied with prosthetic limbs by the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance, which paid for the fitting of limbs and rehabilitation of patients. The first convoy of limbs arrived in Zagreb in October 1994 and Mills traveled with the convoy to film interviews with some of the recipients for the Good Morning with Anne and Nick daytime TV show. She received an award in 2001 from Croatia's prime minister, Ivica Račan for the money she raised to help clear that country of landmines.

With the help of ghostwriter Pamela Cockerill, Mills wrote a book about her experience titled Out on a Limb (1995), which was republished in the United States as A Single Step (2002). Extracts from Out on a Limb were serialized in The Daily Mail in March 2000. Mills handed all the proceeds from the book to Adopt-A-Minefield, and stated that it was one of "the few charities that one hundred percent of their donations goes to clear minefields and survivor assistance". In 1995, Mills got engaged to British media executive Marcus Stapleton, after being together for only sixteen days, and was then engaged to respected documentary filmmaker Chris Terrill in 1999, after only twelve days in Cambodia, where they were making a film about landmines. Mills ended their relationship five days before their planned wedding day, later telling friends in the media that she had called the wedding off because Terrill was gay, an MI6 agent, and that his mission was to sabotage her anti-landmine work. Terrill had once told Mills that he had been interviewed by the intelligence services when he was thinking of a career with the Foreign Office, but later said, "I soon realized that Heather [Mills] had a somewhat elastic relationship with the truth, which she was able to stretch impressively sometimes". Terrill also claims that although Mills said she was a vegetarian at the time, she often cooked her specialty dish, Lancashire hotpot, which contains lamb, for him; and her ex sister-in-law, Dianna Karmal, claims that Mills only became a vegetarian after meeting McCartney.

In 2003, the Open University awarded her an honorary doctorate for her philanthropic work on behalf of amputees. She continues to campaign, in addition to promoting the distribution of prostheses around the world and has been involved with the development of the Heather Mills McCartney Cosmesis, which gives amputees in America the chance to wear a Dorset Orthopaedic cosmesis, without having to travel to the UK. Mills is also vice-president of the Limbless Association. In 2004, she received a "Children in Need" award from the annual International Charity Gala in Düsseldorf and in the same year, the University of California, Irvine, gave her their 2004 Human Security Award and created the Heather Mills McCartney Fellowship in Human Security to support graduate students conducting research on pressing human security issues. She is a former Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Association Adopt-A-Minefield program.

Personal Life[]

Mills met singer Paul McCartney at the Dorchester Hotel in 1999. While on holiday in the Lake District in 2001, McCartney proposed to Mills. They were married in June 2002, four years after McCartney's first wife had died of breast cancer. McCartney wrote a song for Mills, called "Heather". The song is featured on the 2001 album Driving Rain. After some time apart, Mills and McCartney separated in May 2006. The divorce was granted in May 2008, and the preliminary divorce decree was finalized six weeks later.

Dancing with the Stars 4[]


Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/ "Cheek to Cheek" 6 6 6 No elimination
2 Mambo/ "Mambo Italiano" 8 8 8 Safe
3 Jive/ "Can I Get a Witness" 8 8 8 Safe
4 Waltz/ "Sandy's Song" 7 8 8 Safe
5 Samba/ "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel" 7 7 7 Bottom 2
6 Paso Doble/ "Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
Swing/ "Rock This Town"


  • Heather was the first amputee to compete.