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Bill O'Reilly's custody battle turns nasty

Whether you are a fan or a foe, it can't be denied that Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly has always cut a controversial swath in his coverage of politics and current events. But new allegations reverberating in his personal life have taken center stage.

O'Reilly, 65, stands accused by his former wife of assaulting her by dragging her down some stairs by her neck in the couple's home in Manhasset on Long Island. Allegedly, the incident was witnessed by the couple's daughter when she was only nine.

The newsman's former spouse, Maureen McPhilmy, 49, leveled the accusation at O'Reilly in the midst of an acrimonious custody battle over their son and daughter. She claims that the abuse occurred prior to their separation in 2010.

According to Gawker.com, the abuse allegations arose during the former spouses' custody hearing in Nassau County Supreme Court. The case recently culminated in McPhilmy being awarded sole custody of both children.

In a short statement delivered via his attorney, O'Reilly denied the accusation, saying, "All allegations against me in these circumstances are 100 percent false."

His daughter is now 16. She reported confided to a forensic examiner the details of the violent fight that happened between her parents when she was much younger and watching secretly. The examiner provided testimony in the custody case.

After the couple divorced in 2011, they reached an agreement to share custody of their kids. But by February 2012, McPhilmy returned to court for full custody, alleging her ex-husband "repeatedly violated conditions of [their] agreement."

In 2013, a state appeals court issued its ruling that O'Reilly could potentially "undermine the integrity" of the agreement for joint custody. Accordingly, the court ordered the lower court to allow McPhilmy to proceed with her sole custody bid.

Custody cases are often the messiest types of family law matters. When one or both spouses have a high media presence, it can be especially difficult to keep out of the limelight. A skilled attorney with experience with high profile divorce cases can be an invaluable asset at these times.

Source: New York Daily News, "Bill O’Reilly once physically assaulted wife, daughter saw whole thing: report," Don Kaplan , Corky Siemaszko, Bill Hutchinson, May. 18, 2015

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