Heather Mills: 'Nanny I treated like a daughter has betrayed me'
Heather Mills insisted yesterday that she treated her former nanny "like a daughter" and accused the beautician of betrayal for taking her to an employment tribunal.
By Matthew Moore
Published: 10:27PM BST 30 Mar 2010
Sara Trumble and Heather Mills arrive at Ashford Employment Tribunal, Kent Photo: DAVID ROSE
Miss Mills said she was "devastated" by Sara Trumble's sex discrimination allegations, which she alleged were motivated by money, and broke down in tears while describing the end of their frienship.
At one point the hearing was held up as Sir Paul McCartney's ex-wife directly accused her former employee of distorting the truth, saying: "Sara won't look at anyone in the eye because she is lying."
Miss Trumble, 26, is seeking compensation from Miss Mills, a charity campaigner, for unfair dismissal. She claims she suffered changes to her employment terms after taking maternity leave.
Giving evidence on the second day of the tribunal, Miss Mills was repeatedly warned by the tribunal chairman to stick to relevant information.
She also repeatedly walked across the roome to whisper in her solicitor's ear during Miss Trimble's evidence, at one point earning a request from her own sister Fiona to sit down.
Under cross-examination Miss Trimble confirmed that she had received a £10,000 gift from Sir Paul after her employers separated, but insisted that she declined the windfall several times before accepting
She also acknowledged that Ms Mills took her to Slovenia with her other staff and friends to celebrate her 39th birthday and she was invited to join the charity campaigner on a holiday to Sir Richard Branson's private Caribbean island, although she was unable to go.
But the former beauty therapist insisted thats Miss Mills's other employees also noticed a changed in the campaigner's behaviour after her divorce from the former Beatle.
She said "I wasn't the only person who felt that at that time. It's just that nobody else will stand up. I decided to take action and fight this for myself."
In response, Miss Mills told the hearing how she employed the younger woman as a childminder and beauty assistant after learning she earned as little as £20 a week for giving massages at Hilden Health Club in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
She said: "Overly helpful Heather, I offered her some way to help her better herself as I thought she had huge potential."
Miss Mills described how she bought her employee gifts including clothes and a breast pump, and said Miss Trimble had asked her to be godmother to her children.
She said: "I wasn't demanding and that's always been my problem... she actually worked the least hours of all my staff, I was the softest on her of all my staff."
Reading from a statement, she added: "I do not accept that I discriminated against Sara in any way or that I treated her unfairly. I therefore have drawn the regretful conclusion that Sara has made these allegations against me purely to make money."
"I am still devastated by her claims and feel that I've been deeply betrayed by someone who I considered a dear friend, not just an employee."
Miss Mills also claimed that the nanny asked for £4,000 to fund breast enlargement surgery just months after giving birth to her daughter.
The charity campaigner said she refused the request out of concern for Miss Trumble's health, adding that she took an interest in the new mother's welfare having herself suffered six miscarriages and two ectopic pregnancies.