Heather Mills-McCartney has extended her bizarre media campaign to insist that wealthy people are either 'snobs' or 'stingy'.

Speaking in Dublin last night after being named an honorary patron of the Trinity University Philosophical Society, the estranged wife of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney also claimed the treatment she has received from the media has been worse than that experienced by a paedophile or a murderer.

Lady McCartney is currently involved in a bitter divorce battle with Sir Paul, with the eventual settlement predicted to be the biggest in British legal history.

But while addressing a packed auditorium at the university's central campus, the prolific campaigner attacked the rich and powerful.

"Sadly, you have to mix at a certain level of people to raise the level of funds you need to bring about the greater good," she said.

"Because people are very snobby - these people who have lots of money, they're either snobby or they're stingy.

"If you have lots of money you have to be stingy because why would you want that amount of money."

She went on: "But you have to be able to earn a certain living and be able to mix in that arena to influence those people and kind of drag that out of them to actually make a change and make them realise that's what's really exciting about life."

And though she denied she had ever compared herself to Kate McCann, Mills suggested the media treatment of her is due to her gender.

"I'm a woman who puts fear into men who want to control women," she said.

"If you look at every single person in the history of the world who has tried to make a difference, you'll find a very long section of their lives where they were treated horrifically by the government or by the media.

"I don't think anything can prepare you for being treated worse than a murderer or a paedophile when all you have done in 17 years is charity work," she added.

23/11/2007 11:19:19