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McCartneys back in divorce courts

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  • Paul McCartney, Heather Mills return to London divorce court
  • Divorce settlement could be most costly in UK history
  • McCartney split from second wife Mills last year after four years of marriage
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Paul McCartney and his estranged wife, Heather Mills, returned to a London court Monday for the second round of their high-profile divorce.

The fight over the wealth of the former Beatle, who is estimated to be worth up to $1.6 billion, could result in Britain's biggest divorce settlement. According to media reports it could be worth up to £100 million.

There was no sign of a settlement at the end of the first of the five days that the case is scheduled to last.

McCartney, 65, left London's Royal Courts of Justice first, saying "No comment" to reporters. A few moments later, his 40-year-old estranged wife emerged from the court.

Divorce proceedings in Britain are heard in private, and the door of Court 34 carried a sign saying "No Admittance -- Strictly Private," according to the Press Association. Video Watch McCartney, Mills head to divorce court »

A media frenzy accompanied the couple's first court hearing in October as they tried to reach a settlement.

Since then, Mills has fired her lawyers and lashed out at the media during television interviews, after sections of the British press portrayed her as a gold-digger.

Mills intends to represent herself, according to British media, at the expected weeklong hearings. Video Watch celebrity divorce lawyer discuss case »

McCartney, meanwhile, has kept silent about their split, with speculation that he is hoping Mills will do the same by signing a divorce settlement that will forbid her from talking about their relationship in the future.

The terms of any settlement would not become public unless the case reached the appeals court.

The largest divorce settlement in the UK is the $93 million that businessman John Charman was told by the courts to pay his former wife in May last year.

McCartney and Mills married in 2002 after meeting at a charity event. The couple have a 4-year-old daughter.

At the time of their split, they insisted it was "amicable" despite widespread reports of a tempestuous relationship between McCartney and Mills, an ex-model.

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In an emotional outburst in a television interview late last year, Mills said she had been driven to the brink of suicide by the media treatment of her.

"Eighteen months of abuse, worse than a murderer or a pedophile," she told British morning television. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About Heather MillsPaul McCartneyThe Beatles

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