Three weeks ago, a Nassau County Supreme Court justice ended a bitter three-year custody dispute between Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly and his ex-wife, Maureen McPhilmy, by granting custody of the couple’s two minor children to McPhilmy. Though nearly all documents pertaining to New York family court cases are sealed, Gawker has learned that the justice in the case heard testimony accusing O’Reilly of physically assaulting his wife in the couple’s Manhasset home.
According to a source familiar with the facts of the case, a court-appointed forensic examiner testified at a closed hearing that O’Reilly’s daughter claimed to have witnessed her father dragging McPhilmy down a staircase by her neck, apparently unaware that the daughter was watching. The precise date of the alleged incident is unclear, but appears to have occurred before the couple separated in 2010. The same source indicated that the daughter, who is 16 years old, told the forensic examiner about the incident within the past year.
The apparent domestic violence assault would be the latest in a series of revelations about O’Reilly’s disturbing treatment of his family members, and his ex-wife in particular.
O’Reilly and McPhilmy separated in April 2010, after which McPhilmy began dating a Nassau County Police detective named Jeffrey Gross. Upon learning of their relationship, as Gawker reported in 2011, O’Reilly called up his high-placed connections within the NCPD to have something done about Gross. Since O’Reilly was helping raise money for the department’s associated charity, the Nassau County Police Department Foundation, his calls sparked an internal affairs investigation into Gross and his relationship with McPhilmy—an incredible waste of police resources, and a devious way of getting back at McPhilmy by harassing her new boyfriend.
The O’Reillys formalized their divorce in September 2011, and agreed to share custody of their school-aged children. As part of their agreement, the couple mutually agreed to assign a neutral therapist named Lynne Kulakowski to arbitrate any potential custodial disputes, should they happen to arise in the future. Shortly thereafter, however, McPhilmy learned that O’Reilly had in fact added Kulakowski to his household payroll so she could serve as a full-time nanny—in which capacity, as a judge later explained, she was required “to perform virtually all of [O’Reilly’s] parental duties.”