Arriving separately and saying little, Paul McCartney and Heather Mills went to court Monday in London to reach a financial settlement in their acrimonious, high-stakes divorce.

The High Court hearing, called to divide up the former Beatle's fortune of as much $1.6 billion, had all the elements of high show-biz drama — hovering news helicopters, swarms of photographers, waiting reporters.

But what happened in Court 34 on the first day of the five-day hearing is shrouded in secrecy. Unlike most British court cases, divorce proceedings are heard in private. The windows of the oak-paneled courtroom were papered over to stop prying eyes, the door plastered with signs reading "No Admittance — Strictly Private."