- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 5, 2006

No hard feelings

Paul McCartney said Saturday he bears no grudge against his estranged second wife — despite acrimonious divorce proceedings that have seen lurid allegations about their marriage reported around the world.

The 64-year-old former Beatle said the breakup — seized on in Britain as the most high-profile split since Prince Charles and Princess Diana parted ways — had left him saddened but determined to act with dignity.

“There are certain things in life that are personal, and I think a relationship with a partner is intensely personal and I prefer to keep it that way,” Mr. McCartney told British Broadcasting Corp. radio in an interview broadcast Saturday.

Mr. McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney, a 38-year-old anti-land mine campaigner, announced their separation in May and began divorce proceedings in July. They have a 3-year-old daughter, Beatrice.

“When you are going through difficulties, I think the thing to do for the sake of all the people concerned is to keep a certain dignity and remember that it is a private affair, and that way you will probably get through it better,” he said.

Mr. McCartney said keeping details of the divorce private would “put less noses out of joint, and I think it is a more dignified way to go about it.”

He was interviewed Friday, following the premiere of his classical composition “Ecce Cor Meum” (Behold My Heart) at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the BBC said. He said the work was inspired by the death of his first wife, Linda, from breast cancer in 1998.

Mr. McCartney’s lawyers said he would vigorously defend himself against the allegations that he had physically abused his second wife.

“Life goes on; I do not hold grudges against anyone; I don’t blame anyone for the sadnesses that have happened to me. I am sad about them because it would stupid to be otherwise,” Mr. McCartney said. “I think life goes on, and it is what you make of it, so I am pretty optimistic.”

Royal boss

Auction house Christie’s U.K. announced the appointment of Queen Elizabeth II’s nephew as its new chairman.

David Albert Charles Armstrong-Jones (Viscount Linley), son of the monarch’s late sister Princess Margaret and the photographer Lord Snowdon, will assume his role on Dec. 1, Christie’s said Friday.

Viscount Linley joined Christie’s board as a non-executive member in February 2005 and runs his own furniture-making business.

“It is a great honor to be appointed as chairman,” said Viscount Linley, who celebrated his 45th birthday Friday.

“Christie’s is an organization whose passion for the unique and the beautiful holds much in common with my personal values and with those of my own company,” he said. “I have enjoyed a close relationship with Christie’s for many years and look forward to enhancing this to promote the arts to collectors and enthusiasts worldwide.”

Christie’s said his appointment “reflects his growing interest in, and knowledge of, the art market and marks a desire to further develop his career after more than 20 years working solely for his own business.”

Viscount Linley and his sister, Lady Sarah Chatto, auctioned some of their late mother’s furniture, silver and jewelry at Christie’s in June for $24.6 million.

Career move

Chelsea Clinton has started working for Avenue Capital Group, a hedge fund that manages about $12 billion in assets, the agency that represents Miss Clinton confirmed Saturday.

New York-based Avenue Capital specializes in trading in distressed debt, or debt of companies that are nearing or have filed for bankruptcy.

Miss Clinton, 26, had been working as a consultant for McKinsey & Co. since 2003, reportedly for a six-figure salary. McKinsey is an international consultant firm. She received a master’s degree from Oxford University after graduating from Stanford University in 2001.

Details, such as when she started work at Avenue Capital, her exact role and salary, were not released by the representing agency, Rubenstein Associates.

Federal records show Avenue Capital founders Marc Lasry and Sonia Gardner have donated thousands of dollars to Democratic lawmakers, including Miss Clinton’s mother, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, as well as to Democratic campaign committees.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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