Bill O'Reilly and his ex-wife, Maureen McPhilmy, separated on April 2, 2010, and their divorce became final on Sept. 1, 2011. According to a March 18 investigative report on Gawker.com, the famous Fox news personality may have made some questionable decisions involving his divorce and custody battles.
Bill O'Reilly is a devout, practicing Roman Catholic with significant clout in his archdiocese because of his financial support to New York parishes and schools. As he often takes the moral side of issues on his program, "The O'Reilly Factor," these new revelations about his behavior are likely to diminish his credibility on issues of faith and family.
The story is a complicated one, but in essence, it appears that Bill O'Reilly was acting upon his own Catholic views regarding marriage and divorce. The actions that he took were quite unusual and seemingly laced with a bit of "spin."
In 2011, his former wife, Maureen, was dating a Nassau County detective, and, according to Gawker, Bill O'Reilly allegedly used his influence with the Nassau County Police Department to try to launch an internal affairs investigation against the detective. The crime in question was “sleeping with Bill O'Reilly's wife." Gawker is in the process of filing for access to documents in this case.
Many are quoting Bill O’Reilly as trying to "send his ex-wife to hell," which is what constitutes Catholic excommunication; O'Reilly had complained to religious authorities who issued a warning to his ex-wife Maureen. She was told to abstain from communion as a divorced and remarried Catholic and also told to refrain from telling her children that her remarriage was valid in the eyes of God.
The most offensive action taken by O'Reilly was that he "hired" or paid the supposedly neutral therapist who was an advocate for their children. This undermined his wife's equal footing with this therapist who was supposed to be a mediator for the couple in matters regarding the children. According to a lawsuit filed by Maureen McPhilmy, the court-agreed mediator was actually O’Reilly’s household employee!
Bill O'Reilly, who settled a sexual harassment suit against him in 2004 by his producer, Andrea Mackris, has also filed to get his entire marriage to Maureen McPhilmy annulled. This is the Catholic equivalent of having never happened.
It remains to be seen how these revelations will affect the career of Fox News' moral mouth piece, Bill O'Reilly, or if he will publicly explain his side of the story on the "O'Reilly Factor."
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