Bill O’Reilly Loses Custody Battle: Allegations Of Abuse Leaked

A court decision was handed down Monday denying Bill O’Reilly custody of his two teenaged children. According to Independent Journal Review, the appellate court came to a unanimous decision after the children expressed their wishes to live with their mother, Maureen McPhilmy. The children “clearly stated” their preference of residence, IJR reported.

Bill O'Reilly debates with Katie Couric on The O'Reilly Factor
[Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images]

This most recent custody hearing was an appeal by O’Reilly to delay enforcement of the Nassau County Supreme Court decision to grant sole custody to his ex-wife in May of 2015. After the Nassau County decision, leaked court documents indicated that his daughter had testified she witnessed her father “choking her mom” and “dragging her down some stairs,” reports RT. His daughter also expressed fear of Bill’s temper and stated that he was an “absentee father” who was “never around.” She even expressed that she felt that he had had one or more romantic relationships outside of his marriage.

Bill categorically denies the accusations stating that they are “100 percent false.”

The allegations of abuse may have been a primary consideration in the court’s decision to uphold the lower court’s decision. It is unknown whether law enforcement will pursue a criminal investigation based on these allegations.

Whether this news negatively affects Bill’s Fox News show, The O’Reilly Factor, is yet to be seen, but many have been expressing outrage via Twitter.

O’Reilly touts his show as “the most watched cable news show for the past 14 years.”

His brand’s motto, “the spin stops here,” is an allusion to what he sees as liberal spin and censorship of news events, but according to Gawker, his motion to place a gag order on the details of the 2015 custody battle is contrary to his stated stance.

O’Reilly’s only comment on the matter is, “I am going to respect the court-mandated confidentiality put in place to protect my children and will not comment any further.”

The leaked allegations and continued press coverage of his latest court battle may have a negative impact on his show’s ratings. O’Reilly is already viewed by many as being a bully on his show, who repeatedly interrupts pundits on the program when he disagrees with what they have to say, not allowing them time to finish their statements.

Many of Bill’s guests have to contend with him steamrolling over them as they are trying to make their point. This most frequently happens with guests such as Juan Williams, with whom he frequently disagrees, but even guests with whom he agrees have to contend with his relentless interruptions. Most simply allow it and move on, but as can be seen in this clip with Sarah Palin, sometimes O’Reilly gets called on this behavior.

While viewers may sometimes find his antics annoying and sometimes a bit embarrassing, it has never seemed to detract from his viewership. The O’Reilly Factor continues to be one of Fox News Network’s highest rated shows. However, he has always been viewed as a man with integrity; a man who watches out for the “kiddos” as he puts it. If the details of his custody battle sully his perceived integrity, his show could suffer the consequences.

Despite the effects the custody battle may have in his professional life, the only effect it has in his personal life is on where his children will reside. RT points out that he will still share decision-making responsibilities with his ex-wife, such as schooling, medical, and religious upbringing decisions.

[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]