Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has lost custody of his two teenage children following an alleged domestic violence incident, according to court documents.
A New York appeals court upheld a ruling that denied Mr. O’Reilly sole residential custody and status as sole decision-maker for the 17-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son he had with his ex-wife, Maureen McPhilmy, the New York Daily News reported. The Fox News host will still have visitation rights with his kids on alternating weekends and some holidays.
“There is a sound and substantial basis for the Supreme Court’s determination that it is in the best interests of the children for the mother to be awarded primary residential custody,” the four-judge Appellate Division panel wrote. “Particularly relevant in this case are the clearly stated preferences of the children, especially considering their age and maturity, and the quality of the home environment provided by the mother.”
The ruling was first reported by Gawker.
Last year the website, citing documents leaked from the confidential custody battle, reported that Mr. O’Reilly’s daughter told a court-appointed forensic examiner that she saw her father dragging her mother down a staircase by the neck.
Mr. O’Reilly denied the allegations, telling Politico last May: “All allegations against me in these circumstances are 100% false. I am going to respect the court-mandated confidentiality put in place to protect my children and will not comment any further.”
Court transcripts seen by Gawker allegedly revealed that the daughter also described Mr. O’Reilly as a temperamental, absentee parent who was uninterested in developing a relationship with her.
It is not clear whether Mr. O’Reilly is planning to appeal the court’s ruling. A court docket shown by Gawker does indicate that he is currently pursuing contempt of court charges against his ex-wife.