By Sky News SkyNews
Heather Mills has launched a fierce attack on the press, comparing her treatment at the hands of the media with that of Kate McCann and Princess Diana.
Sir Paul McCartney's estranged wife said she had been "close to suicide" over the coverage she received.
The 39-year-old is locked in a bitter divorce battle with the former Beatle. The couple have a four-year-old daughter, Beatrice.
Ms Mills-McCartney launched her attack on the nation's press in a television interview, saying she had been "close to suicide" and had received death threats.
Speaking on GMTV, she accused a "certain corner" of feeding spin to the media to smear her - and called on the public to stop buying tabloid newspapers.
At one point she appeared to break down, later apologising for becoming upset and saying: "What are we doing as a nation buying these newspapers?
"We need to force a change as a responsible nation."
She said she had launched a petition at the European Parliament to strengthen the law against "a specific portion" of the media.
Tearfully she added: "They make up such lies. They've called me a -----, a golddigger, a fantasist, a liar, the most unbelievably hurtful things - and I've stayed quiet for my daughter.
"But my daughter. We've had death threats, I've been close to suicide. I'm so upset about this. I've had worse press than a paedophile or a murderer, and I've done nothing but charity for 20 years."
She refuted suggestions that she had "used the press", answering: "I haven't used the press for anything but my charity."
She went on: "Look what they're doing to the McCanns. The woman has lost, and the poor father, have lost their daughter. What are we doing as a nation?
"What are we doing persecuting a woman that is devastated behind closed doors and trying to hold it together, as I have for 18 months."
Mills also likened herself to Diana, Princess of Wales, saying they had both been hounded by the media