Animal rights campaigner Heather Mills McCartney has defended herself after a newspaper published pictures of her wearing a fur coat.

The Daily Mirror showed Lady Mills McCartney, the estranged wife of Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney, wearing a mink coat that used to belong to her late mother.

But writing on her website, she said that the picture was taken in 1989 before she was both a vegetarian and an anti-fur campaigner.

"The coat belonged to my mother, who had sadly died just a few days earlier and I wore it because it made me feel close to her," she said.

"I am not ashamed I wore it I was extremely young and was not aware of the issues surrounding the fur trade."

Lady Mills McCartney has spoken out against the supermodel Naomi Campbell for taking part in the 'I would rather go naked than wear fur' campaign and then modelling fur, a fact which she claims the Mirror twisted to make her seem hypocritical in the article accompanying the mink coat pictures.

"I believe that is a different issue. Naomi is aware of the issues. She could make a choice that would have a profound impact on this barbaric trade," she said.

Lady Mills McCartney is currently locked in a bitter divorce row with Sir Paul.

Speaking on ABC's Good Morning America show today about the media interest in her, she said that she does not believe "the public in general, whatever country it is, are that stupid to believe all the incontinent rubbish that comes out of tabloids' mouths".

"It's just so ridiculous that you've just got to laugh at it," she added.

13/03/2007 14:35:03