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Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly is suing his ex-wife for fraudulent misrepresentation, saying she lied during their divorce for financial gain. According to Gawker, the O'Reilly filed papers in Nassau County Court in New York accusing Maureen McPhilmy of hiding her extra-marital affair to induce a consensual divorce from O'Reilly.
He says she used money from the divorce to finance her extra-marital affair, and that she got more money because she pretended to be loyal. Now O'Reilly is demanding $10 million, saying he paid McPhilmy based on her material misrepresentations that she was not cheating. Let's consider this from a legal perspective.
Price of Adultery
State statutes vary and it is difficult to make generalizations about divorce law. In some states cheating during marriage has a big impact on the divorce while in others it matters little. Although adultery may not make a huge difference in asset distribution in most cases, it can make a difference when the cheating half of the couple uses marital assets to finance an extra-marital affair, according to lawyer and family mediator Katherine Eisold Miller writing in the Huffington Post.
That seems to be what O'Reilly is complaining about in his case. His filing states that McPhilmy made, "false representations and material omissions of existing fact ... for the sole purpose of inducing Plaintiff to agree to a consensual divorce and to obtain money and real property to finance an existing extra-marital relationship."
Mcphilmy is now remarried and O'Reilly has reportedly made life difficult for the new husband, Nassau County New York Police Detective Jeffrey Gross. It is believed that O'Reilly used his sway to launch an internal investigation of Gross in the police department. He has also written to the Catholic Church to have his ex-wife excommunicated and seeking an annulment of their 14-year marriage.
Perhaps most alarming of all are not O'Reilly's allegations that his wife cheated but what Gawker has revealed about him. The couple has been involved in a long and protracted custody dispute over the last three years, after having agreed to joint custody when they first split in 2010. But reportedly O'Reilly's daughter, 16, said that she had seen her father drag her mother down the stairs when they were still together. McPhilmy was awarded full custody of the children and O'Reilly vehemently denies the accusation of abuse.
Perhaps that accusation is what led to O'Reilly to file the lawsuit demanding $10 million for fraudulently inducing an uncontested divorce. Or maybe O'Reilly just can't let go and he knows no other way to stay in contact with McPhilmy.