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Did Canadian Seal Hunt Protest Lead to McCartneys' Divorce? Heather 'Not So Gracious'

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OTTAWA, Canada -- Canada's fisheries minister and the head of an Atlantic island province are taking credit for helping to break up rocker Paul McCartney and his wife, whose vitriol over the seal hunt angered locals.

Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn said tongue-in-cheek that he and Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams unmasked a sour side of Heather Mills McCartney during a fiery seal hunt debate on CNN's "Larry King Live" in March.

This likely changed the former Beatle's view of her, Hearn told reporters outside the House of Commons. "We'll take some credit for that," he quipped.

Hearn said Paul McCartney, an animal rights activist, seemed respectful of Newfoundland sealers' point of view, defended by Williams on the show, but his wife, an ardent anti-sealing activist, was "not so gracious."

Two months later, McCartney, now 64, split from the former model after four years together.

Initially they said their divorce was "amicable" but their relations have become increasingly acrimonious amid wrangling over McCartney's multi-million pound fortune.

The spectacular breakup was welcomed by many eastern Canadians who resented the couple's seal hunt protest on a Gulf of St. Lawrence ice floe in March.

The couple was invited by the US Humane Society to shine a spotlight on the annual cull of the marine mammals that have won the hearts of millions around the world since French film star Brigitte Bardot hugged a fluffy white doe-eyed pup for photographers in 1977.

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