Long Island, NY- Although Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly has been involved in a contentious divorce battle for the better part of two years, but the vocal Conservative’s divorce has taken center stage because he allegedly involved the Catholic Church, in an attempt to get his ex-wife kicked out of her Long Island congregation.
O’Reilly and Maureen McPhilmy finalized their divorce in September of 2011, where they both agreed to share custody of their two daughters. As part of the custody agreement, the pair agreed to hire a neutral therapist to help them resolve any parenting disputes that may arise, according to Gawker.
But the child custody agreement waged a tit-for-tat war between O’Reilly and McPhilmy that began shortly after their separation.
First, O’Reilly began a campaign to discredit the Nassau County Detective his ex-wife began dating. He enlisted the help of friends within the department to launch an internal affairs investigation into the detective who is now married to McPhilmy.
In addition to going after his exes boyfriend, O’Reilly then hired the neutral therapist to be part of his household staff, Gawker reported. That move landed the estranged couple back in court just two months after the divorce was finalized.
Gawker obtained documents which outline McPhilmy’s concerns, “The mother claimed that the [father] had repeatedly violated conditions of the agreement…Moreover, the full-time employment of the children’s therapist, the person designated in the agreement as a neutral third-party “arbitrator” of custodial disputes, by the father, constitutes a significant change of circumstance which could undermine the integrity of the agreement’s custodial provisions.”
A lower court initially denied McPhilamy’s request for a hearing to address O’Reilly’s decision to hire the therapist, who gets paid a six figure salary. A lower court fists denied her request, but according to Gawker an appellate court agreed with McPhilamy and ordered a hearing. Another indication that the custody battle is getting uglier is the fact that the appellate court judge ordered the appointment of an independent attorney for the children, Gawker reported.
It doesn’t end there. According to Gawker, O’Reilly has used his clout to have his wife driven from the Catholic Church. Apparently, even in the age where 50 percent of marriages– even Catholic ones– end in divorce, McPhilamy received a letter of reprimand from her church for continuing to take communion since she had been divorce and remarried. The latter also asked her to quit telling her children her second marriage to the detective is valid in the eyes of God, Gawker stated. The letter also warned her that failure to comply could result in tougher measures.
O’Reilly’s popular Fox News show has made it possible for him to donate large sums to the New York parishes giving him significant influence within the archdiocese.
In addition to his ongoing custody battle with McPhilamy, O’Reilly is also trying to have his first marriage, which lasted 15 years and produced two children, annulled. This may prove to be difficult even for O’Reilly and his millions.