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McCartney opts out of charity over divorce

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Friday, August 25, 2006

London (Reuters): Former Beatle Paul McCartney has pulled out of a charity gala in October because of his impending divorce from Heather Mills, the charity said today. Adopt-A-Minefield (UK), the British branch of the landmine charity which has both McCartney and Mills as patrons, said the annual fundraising event, due to have been held in Los Angeles on October 11, had been cancelled. In 2005, the event hosted by the couple raised a record 3 million dollars, but the director of the charity played down media reports that McCartney would donate a similar sum to make up for his withdrawal.

''Heather and Paul remain patrons of the Adopt-A-Minefield campaign,'' said Keith Kelly, director of the British branch. ''Paul and Heather have developed the LA gala, our most successful fundraising event, and as it is an event they both hosted, given their separation Paul doesn't feel he can perform this year,'' he told Reuters. Kelly said that, as well as performing, McCartney attracted other major acts to the gala each year.

''In the time since Heather and Paul separated, we haven't been able to secure people of similar calibre and the event has had to be cancelled.'' Asked about a report in London's Evening Standard newspaper that McCartney would donate about 3 million dollars to compensate for his withdrawal, Kelly replied: ''There is no obligation for Paul to make up the shortfall, but he remains patron and is passionate about the landmine issue. ''He hasn't as yet paid a cheque. Until something arrives you don't know what it's going to be and what amount it is.'' McCartney's spokesman was not immediately available for comment. McCartney, 64, and Mills, 38, announced their separation in May and have begun divorce proceedings in an increasingly acrimonious split. They married in 2002 and have a two-year-old daughter, Beatrice.

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