Fresh on the heels of her victory against money-grabbing publicist, Michele Elyzabeth in the California Court of Appeal last year, Heather Mills has scored another legal victory in the Federal Court against her former hairstylist, David Miramontes.
No stranger to the courtroom, she represented herself once more.
Miramontes claimed that Ms Mills agreed to pay him an astonishing $5,000 per blow-dry when he was already being paid by ABC’s Dancing with the stars, for extra PR shows such as Jay Leno, Ellen de Generes etc in 2007, though he presented no evidence to support his case. He filed suit in December 2011 some 4 years later and this case itself has taken four years to make it through the convoluted US legal system.
The Court, of course, saw through Miramontes’ preposterous claim and, like his partner-in- crime publicist, Michele Elyzabeth, sent him packing. Federal Judge Morrow, presiding over the case in which the hairdresser had inflated his claim from $80,000 in 2011 to over $400,000 in 2015, ruled in a motion for summary judgment on Monday 23 November that Miramontes “proffer[ed] no cognizable evidence” and that “no reasonable jury” could support his claim.
This is the second in a series of Ms Mills kindly helping out two pleading people in need at the time, with work, who then sought to blackmail her into paying them large sums of money on fake promises they say they were made. All invoices ever presented to Heather where shown to the court as fully paid and on time.
Former publicist, Michele Elyzabeth, received tens of thousands of pounds from the now- defunct News of the World when she sold her soul with lies in a kiss-and-tell story in 2011 prior to launching her frivolous claim in the Federal Court.
Both leeches threatened ‘going public’ trying to blackmail Ms Mills with more bad publicity of lies, and pursued their cases, making periodic suggestions of settlement for hundreds of thousands of dollars, but Ms Mills refused to settle on principle:
“I settled once before with another liar when I was in hospital, having a revision amputation. My lawyers persuaded me to do it for an easy life, but the liar went on to use the evidence of the settlement against me and to sell stories generating more harm and hurt. I just couldn’t do it to myself or my family again. These people are savages who will stop at nothing to get a quick buck and I just couldn’t allow them to blackmail me into settling. After research I found Ms Elyzabeth had done this to other people and coerced Mr Miramontes into lying as he had recently gone bankrupt !!! I stuck to my guns, and to the truth, and I am so pleased that the Federal Court has seen through these despicable people and their extortionist tactics.”
Having spent over $250,000 on legal fees defending herself against Michele Elyzabeth’s baseless case, Heather Mills was surprised and appalled to learn that in the USA there is no automatic right to reclaim your legal fees (as in the UK) if you are the winner:
“It’s shocking. There is no disincentive to sue – people just make things up and can keep pushing until they bankrupt you. Even if you are right, you have to pay to clear your name and there is no straightforward way of getting your money back. I don’t know how anyone who isn’t wealthy can afford to be sued!.”
When Ms Mills triumphed over Michele Elyzabeth at the end of 2013, Elyzabeth promptly appealed. Given her legal expenses to date and her confidence in the outcome of the case , Ms Mills represented herself at the Court of Appeal, who supported her and threw Elyzabeth’s case out again.
When it came to dealing with Miramontes, whose claim was even less credible than the publicist’s, though no less invented, Ms Mills opted once more to represent herself. Despite coming up against celebrity lawyer to the stars (and “Super Lawyer 2014”), US Navy veteran, Steven Haney, once more, Heather emerged victorious.
“Don’t take me on. I will not roll over. I am fair and honest and principled. I am grateful to the Federal Court and to Judge Morrow, who seems to me to be very fair. I am also grateful to my family and to all those who have supported me through this difficult time. More than anything, I am so pleased not to be dealing with this anymore.”
Asked whether she feels sorry for Miramontes, Ms Mills couldn’t be clearer:
“In one way, of course. He has been dreaming with dollar signs in his eyes and must have come to believe, over the past four years of listening to Ms Elyzabeth and his lawyers, that he had a chance of winning. This is the problem with half of those who work in the world of showbiz in LA – they want something for nothing.
In another, not at all. He has put me through years of hell and thousands upon thousands of pounds of needless expense, with the tabloids printing his lies and people believing him. I hope he has a huge legal bill at the end of this, because he is a lying, cheating, shallow and unpleasant man.”
Heather Mills has been embroiled in a number of unjust courtroom battles in the last eight years, including her divorce which became tabloid fodder for many years afterwards. Though she put on a brave face publicly, the stress has taken its toll. This year she has undergone emergency surgery to remove two organs as a result of stress occasioned by lawsuits and the media. She hopes that her most recent victories will dissuade other have-a-go blackmailers from pursuing frivolous and vexatious claims.
Asked to reflect, Ms Mills is single-minded about her future:
“All I want is to get on with my charity work, and not spend precious time fighting to bring justice to these ridiculous lies and claims.....when this time could be better utilised helping great causes, ski racing with the disabled and the people I care about trying to make a difference without these insane distractions. I am hoping this will now deter anyone from writing anymore lies, as I am no longer willing to accept this form of abuse that made me so sick”.