Conservative Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly was dealt a crushing blow in a bitter custody battle, officially losing custody of his teenage children after facing accusations of domestic abuse against his wife, from no less than his own daughter.
The New York Appellate Division ruled unanimously that O’Reilly’s two children, ages 17 and 13, were better offing living full-time with their mother, Maureen McPhilmy, who was married to the Fox news commentator for 15 years, divorcing him in 2010. The court had issued a ruling on the case last week, releasing a 1400-word opinion that used anonymous names, only for the press to figure out the identities behind the parties involved.
Children Prefer to be with Their Mother
The ruling shows that O’Reilly’s children had “clearly stated preferences” to live with their mother, taking into account their “age and maturity” and the “home environment provided” by McPhilmy.
The appellate ruling affirms the initial 2015 decision by the Nassau County Supreme Court, which O’Reilly had appealed to block its enforcement. O’Reilly and his ex-wife will share legal custody in material concerns for the children, including, but not limited to, medical care, education, and religious and spiritual supervision.
After the original ruling in 2015, the media obtained court transcripts of O’Reilly’s 17-year-old daughter, where she testified to seeing her father “choking her mom” and dragging “her down some stairs.” She added she was afraid of O’Reilly’s temper, and called him an “adulterer” and absentee father who was never around the house to be with them.
Not the First of O’Reilly’s Controversial Actions
In a 2015 interview with Politico, O’Reilly was quick to deny the domestic abuse accusations, saying that, “all allegations against [him] in these circumstances are 100% false,” and that he was “going to respect the court-mandated confidentiality put in place to protect my children and will not comment any further.”
O’Reilly and McPhilmy had separated in 2010, officially divorcing a year later in September. According to several reports, O’Reilly has been seen trying to undermine his wife on more than a few occasions, even demanding an internal investigation by the Nassau County Police Department against a police officer his ex-wife is currently dating.
O’Reilly also allegedly told his local church that McPhilmy was still receiving communion despite being a divorcee, for which she was reprimanded—the Catholic Church frowns upon divorce. The same church also told McPhilmy to stop telling the children that her second marriage was recognized and respected by God—something reportedly urged by O’Reilly.
Sadly, this kind of behavior is by no means unique, as many divorced spouses still experience some kind of abuse from their ex-husbands and wives. to learn how you can protect your rights after filing for divorce contact the Lyttle Law Firm. Visit our website or call our offices at 512-215-5225 to schedule a consult.