The former nanny to Paul McCartney's ex-wife Heather Mills described her Monday as a bitter and dishonest employer who forced her to work overtime without pay and demanded her staff say positive things about her to a documentary film posted to the Internet.
Sara Trumble, 26, is suing Mills on the grounds of sex discrimination and unfair dismissal, saying the former model effectively stripped her of a nanny role when she gave birth to her own baby girl.
Trumble, who was hired by the ex-model to look after her daughter with McCartney in 2004, told an employment tribunal in southern England that she often worked without pay as the couple stayed out late at various engagements. When Mills split from the former Beatle two years later, Trumble said she provided Mills with a shoulder to cry on.
"Heather was very bitter towards Paul," Trumble said. "I was, I believe, a great source of comfort and support for Heather at this time."
But Trumble said the separation meant she spent an increasing amount of time commuting to Mills' new home and less time looking after Beatrice, the couple's daughter.
At one point, Trumble said Mills ordered her to tell a crew she had hired about "how wonderful she was" for a movie due to be posted to YouTube.
"I felt I had no choice but to take part," she said.
Trumble said Mills gave her gifts — including a convertible and a 1,000 pound ($1,500) check when her daughter was born — but she said Mills also demanded that she return to work when she was still out on maternity leave. Trumble said she was horrified when Mills told a meeting of her staff that a new nanny would be looking after Beatrice and that Trumble would instead be a full-time cleaner.
"What hurt most was that she didn't even say it to me personally, she announced it in front of everyone," Trumble said. Trumble also accused Mills of being "more than capable of lying."
Mills, who was at the hearing, muttered to her friends throughout her ex-nanny's testimony.
At one point, as lawyers were arguing over whether her highly publicized divorce judgment should be used as evidence, she let out a long "No."
Mills, who was awarded 24 million pounds — some of it intended to pay for a nanny, was criticized in the judgment as being "less than candid."
The trial was adjourned until Tuesday, when Mills is expected to present her side of the story. Contact information for her lawyer could not immediately be located.