Monday, July 23, 2007

It's all about the Salmon P. Chases, baby

How to take a billionaire
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills have finally reached an agreement on their divorce settlement after months of negotiations. Macca will pay Mills a total of $140 million broken up into an initial payment of $30 million, with an additional $7 million every year until their 3-year-old daughter turns 18.
As a very great man once said, some people will rob with you a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen. I really don't get how Mills deserves such an obscenely high sum. No one forced her to marry the guy. It seems hardly credible that she suffered any kind of "abuse" at his hands, beyond the usual emotional wringer couples put each other through.

I've never been one of those Beatle wife haters; if John was happy with Yoko, more power to him. If there's one thing I've learned in my turmoil-plagued existence, it's that no one never really knows what goes on between a man and woman in a relationship. So I'm not saying this out of some kind of misguided "she ruined his music" nonsense.

But really: 140 million dollars? I understand the money for his daughter, but come on, Paul will take care of her no matter what; he's got joint custody, I believe. How, exactly, did Mills contribute to the McCartney fortune, that she's entitled to such a porcine chunk of cash? Just how accustomed can one get to a certain lifestyle in four years of marriage? Does Mills believe she needs to live like the Sultan of Brunei now? The normal level of "richer than 99.9% of the world's population will ever be" isn't good enough?

Alimony is meant to prevent heads of household from leaving with nothing spouses who are unable to fend for themselves after raising a family instead of learning job skills and cultivating a career. It should not be an automatic and excessive money trough for the already capable and self-sustaining. If I had the power to adjudicate that case, I'd give Mills a flat one-time payment of one million bucks and tell her she's lucky to get it, and order Paul to put twenty million in a frozen trust fund for his daughter.

But that would be something akin to justice, and justice has no place in the Western judicial system.

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