Paul McCartney to settle divorce for £25 million?

The couple are 'the closest they have been' to an agreement

A divorce settlement between Paul McCartney and his estranged wife Heather Mills could be agreed within days, after he offered around £25 million in a settlement, it has been reported.

The package represents a sizeable increase on the £3m-£5m initially offered to Heather Mills and could lead to both sides concluding a deal by Friday (October 19).

A source said: “There is no guarantee they will settle, but it’s the closest they have been.”

Mills and her legal team, led by Anthony Julius, may make a decision on whether to accept the offer as early as this week.

McCartney, represented by Fiona Shackleton, has been insisting on Mills signing a confidentiality agreement to prevent her discussing their four year marriage.

If an agreement is reached it would save the former couple an acrimonious final hearing in February. That seemed the likeliest outcome when both sides left without agreement after eight hours seeking an amicable agreement before a High Court judge.

Although there had been suggestions that McCartney may end up paying at least £60 million, sources have indicated he initially wanted to pay no more than a tenth of that, based on the length of their marriage.

However, it is understood Mr Justice Coleridge suggested that Mills would be likely to be awarded nearer £25 million, leading to the raised offer.

The source told The Telegraph: “Paul, on the advice of his lawyers, originally offered Heather between three and five million. But there was absolutely no way Heather’s legal team were going to accept that.

“There has been serious wrangling going on behind the scenes for months and months and months and they finally managed to get them to hike the package up to about £25 million.

Paul believes he is in quite a strong position… and now all he has to do is sit and wait.

“It’s now in Heather’s hands. Paul has always been prepared to go all the way but, if it can be sorted out before then, he’s not going to stand in the way.”