Widower Paul McCartney confirmed on Wednesday that he is involved with Heather Mills, a former swimsuit model and activist for the disabled. “We are an item. We’ve done charity work together, and we’ve grown close,” McCartney said in a statement. Up until now, McCartney, 57, had been denying stories of a relationship with Mills, 32, whom he calls “a very impressive woman.” Part of the reason he went public with the news yesterday was because, he said, “What we don’t need at this stage is photographers lurking in bushes.” Mills lost her left leg below the knee in 1993 when a police motorcycle hit her as she crossed a London road. McCartney’s wife of 29 years, Linda, died of breast cancer in April 1998. She had been an activist on behalf of vegetarianism and animal rights.