Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly might know how to cover a big story, but when it comes to his personal life, the celebrity pundit would rather keep his own controversies out of the limelight. Indeed, a recent report by Gawker suggests that O’Reilly is planning a new salvo in his lengthy and messy break-up with ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy but he is trying his best to keep the details under wraps. According to court documents obtained by Gawker, Bill O’Reilly is preparing a $10 million lawsuit against his former spouse, but he has requested that the matter proceed “in secret.”
In the aforementioned documents, O’Reilly reportedly accuses Maureen McPhilmy of “misleading” him about details regarding their separation agreement. The television host also accuses his ex of having an affair before their divorce was finalized. O’Reilly and McPhilmy separated in 2010 and things quickly turned ugly between the two. When O’Reilly learned that McPhilmy was romantically linked with a Nassau County Police Detective Jeffrey Gross, he demanded an internal affairs investigation against the individual, an action described by Gawker as a “nuisance” complaint. AOL News notes that McPhilmy later married Gross. He is still employed with Nassau County Police.
O’Reilly eventually lost custody of his two children as the result of his divorce, due in part to allegations that he had been violent with his ex-wife on at least one occasion. Leaked documents cited by the Washington Times described an incident witnessed by O’Reilly’s daughter in which he allegedly dragged his wife down the stairs while holding on to her by the neck. As in the above-noted civil suit, Bill O’Reilly placed particular emphasis on the importance of confidentiality during his divorce proceedings.
“All allegations against me in these circumstances are 100% false,” Bill O’Reilly told Politico in comments re-published by the Washington Times. “I am going to respect the court-mandated confidentiality put in place to protect my children and will not comment any further.”
Bill O’Reilly later appealed the court ruling that awarded residential custody of his 17-year-old daughter and his 13-year-old son to their mother Maureen McPhilmy, but the appeals court upheld the previous decision.
Of course, Bill O’Reilly’s divorce is not the only situations in which the outspoken Fox personality has suffered embarrassment through the course of some high-profile litigation. In 2004, he was sued by his former producer Andrea Mackris for $60,000,000. Mackris accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment and produced excerpts from a number of conversations with O’Reilly in which he allegedly made a number of explicit statements and propositions. O’Reilly countersued Mackris for extortion but both suits were eventually dropped as the result of a settlement.
Through his highly rated television show The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly has often spoken at length on political matters as well as on topics like morality and parenting. He has written a number of bestselling books, including children’s books like The O’Reilly Factor For Kids and Kids Are Americans.
Bill O’Reilly has also penned a number of contemporary studies of American history, including Killing Patton and Killing Reagan. His 2012 book Killing Kennedy came under scrutiny over O’Reilly’s assertion that he was present at the scene when a former associate of Lee Harvey Oswald committed suicide in 1977. A CNN investigation revealed a number of discrepancies in O’Reilly’s account of the situation. For his part, Bill O’Reilly blamed the controversy on “far left attacks.”
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