A journalist who shares her name with Heather Mills has revealed how Paul McCartney's estranged wife posed as her when applying for a presenting job.
She said Miss Mills showed cuttings of stories she had written and impersonated her for more than a year.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, writer Heather Mills, who was working for The Observer at the time but now works for Private Eye, told how her namesake made it on to the shortlist for a presenting job in 1998.
She said Miss Mills applied to co-present a Just TV series called Clear My Name with the campaigning journalist David Jessell.
She said: "Heather could not have known I knew Moira Haynes, the partner of one of Just TV's directors Steve Haywood.
"Moira had worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau and the week before we had collaborated on a front page story about proposed disability benefit cuts which forced a rare Government u-turn. I did not, however, know Steve.
"At Heather's interview, Steve went to introduce himself and according to him, she deftly winged it, pretending to know Moira and accepting praise for our recent work."
Miss Mills was rumbled when Mr Haywood went home and asked his wife why she hadn't mentioned the fact she had only one leg.
"They could agree I was tall and blonde but not about how many legs I had. In the end Steve resolved the issue by phoning a journalist friend at The Guardian to ask how many legs Heather Mills had.
"'Three you idiot', said his bemused mate".
In the end the job went to someone working at BBC World Service. The journalist said other scams took longer to be discovered.
She is said to have told other freelance writers that she had secured a regular slot on The Observer so they intently followed stories written by Miss Mills, thinking all the while that they had been penned by Heather Mills.
"One is now a leading national newspaper journalist", Miss Mills wrote.
"She challenged Heather once when an article appeared while she was abroad on holiday. Ever one to think on her feet, Heather said she'd taken her laptop to write it on."
She was rumbled again when Miss Mills mentioned her son in a piece about asthma.
Miss Mills said that the stealing of her identity did not do her any real harm but she said that she became disconcerted when readers wrote to her telling her they were sorry she had lost her leg at a time when she was reporting on the Northern Ireland troubles when kneecapping was a regular occurrence.
She said she worried the letters were 2some kind of sinister threat" and showed them to her editor. "I did some checking and found out about a one-legged model who'd lost her leg in a crash, who shared my name. I had never heard of her and had no idea why readers would think a little-known model would also be a broadsheet newspaper correspondent.
"At least they made an honest mistake in confusing our identities. Heather Mills McCartney did it deliberately."
Last night it was also claimed she had shown TV bosses newspaper cuttings to help secure a job presenting The General, a BBC show based at Southampton General Hospital which went out five days a week with her at the forefront.
A source said: "She definitely showed some cuts of newspaper stories she claimed to have done."
Heather Mills was facing damaging new allegations today over her claim that she had been abducted and molested by her former swimming coach.
Ms Mills wrote a harrowing account of the kidnap in her best-selling autobiography A Single Step, devoting seven pages to the ordeal.
She claimed that 30 years ago she and a next door neighbour Margaret Ambler had been held in the man's flat in Tyne and Wear for three days until being rescued by police.
But a lawyer acting for Ms Ambler told today how his client received thousands of pounds in damages in an out-of-court settlement this summer for "misuse of private information and invasion of privacy". Ms Mills paid tens of thousands more in legal costs for a case that dragged on for more than a year.
Graham Atkins told the Evening Standard the events as described in Ms Mills's autobiography published in 2002 were "embellished beyond belief ".
Ms Ambler, who lives in Carlisle, denies that the three-day kidnapping ordeal ever happened. She was sexually abused by the coach but not in the way described in the book.
Mr Atkins said that Ms Mills's further claim that the coach - known as Mr Morris - later killed himself by driving his car off a cliff was also untrue. He understood Mr Morris had subsequently died but not that he had taken his own life.
The details of the settlement - which relate to the breach of privacy rather than alleged inaccuracies in the book - come as Ms Mills finds herself embroiled in an increasingly bitter divorce.
She has accused her estranged husband Sir Paul McCartney of being violent towards her - accusations he vigorously denies - in court papers leaked to the press.
Ms Mills is also currently suing the Evening Standard and other newspapers for articles she says branded her a liar.
In her book, Ms Mills, 38, referred to Ms Ambler only as "Margaret" and claimed her childhood friend could not be identified.
But Ms Ambler's lawyer argued that she was clearly identified, bringing back terrifying childhood memories that forced his client to seek further therapy and counselling.
Mr Atkins, said today: "We sued Ms Mills over misuse of private information in her book. We took an action for breach of privacy and she had to settle for payment of damages and for legal costs.
"Heather Mills basically embellished the incident. There was no three-day kidnap; the guy didn't commit suicide."
Mr Atkins, who is able to talk freely about the case because Ms Amble refused to agree to a gagging clause as part of the settlement, added: "It was an extraordinary thing to do." Mr Atkins said Ms Mills's then lawyers at Sheridans Solicitors had argued for a "gagging clause" to prevent details of the case becoming public but Ms Ambler turned down all offers.
Ms Mills's father Mark Mills, 65, has said he also has no recollection of his daughter ever having been kidnapped. "I don't know why she would claim a thing like that," he has said.
Mishcon de Reya, the law firm that now represents Ms Mills, refused to comment.