herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Mills was rude and underpaid me -- ex-nanny

She has fumed at divorce lawyers, flipped at breakfast television interviewers and flounced off Dancing On Ice -- now Heather Mills faces her latest opponent: a former nanny with some fake tan.

Sara Trumble (26), of Westfield, East Sussex, told an employment tribunal that Ms Mills had been "rude and horrible" towards her, demanding that she return to work during her maternity leave.

Despite being paid only £260 (€289) per week, she claimed that she was expected to start work at 7am to blow dry Ms Mills's hair and sometimes stayed until midnight.

Ms Trumble also said that she was one of several household staff who were ordered to tell a film crew positive things about their employer as part of a publicity campaign during Ms Mills's divorce from Paul McCartney in 2008.

She alleged that she was often asked to perform duties above and beyond her role as nanny to the pair's six-year-old daughter, Beatrice, such as giving Ms Mills naked spray tans, and filing newspaper clippings.

The opening of the tribunal was delayed as Nick Fairweather, Ms Trumble's solicitor, argued that it should be taken into account that Ms Mills was a known liar.

Mills had come under fire in the press after being awarded £24.3m (€27m) in her divorce from the former Beatle.

The charity campaigner, who yesterday sat at the back of the room flanked by staff including her personal trainer and housekeeper, uttered a long "no", as the tribunal heard that a damning High Court judgment of her credibility made after the divorce was highly relevant as "one of the parties has been found to lie under oath".

Steven Vowles, the tribunal judge, rejected the argument as irrelevant.

Looking very slim, in a navy pinstripe jacket and jeans, Ms Mills gave a running commentary of contradictions and denials while Ms Trumble gave evidence, shaking her head and frequently passing notes to her solicitor.

At one point Ms Mills whispered loudly: "I don't know whether to laugh or cry."

Ms Trumble was employed to look after Beatrice in April 2004, after meeting Ms Mills while she worked at the Hilden Health Club in Rye the previous year. She admitted that the former model had been a generous employer, once giving her a £1,000 (€1,111) Christmas bonus and on another occasion giving her a two-seater convertible sports car, a Daihatsu Copan, as a present for her loyalty.

The relationship turned sour, however, as Ms Mills's marriage collapsed, said Ms Trumble, who complained of being caught between the warring couple.

The hearing is due to last four days.

hnews@herald.ie

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