Fox News host Bill O’Reilly can factor in a court victory.
A judge in Long Island has ordered his ex-wife to cough up $310,000 in fines for ignoring a court order to give O’Reilly time with his daughter.
Maureen McPhilmy had agreed to share custody of their son and daughter when the couple separated in 2010.
Last October, their 17-year-old daughter was due to spend a week with her dad, but her mother refused to let her go on the grounds that their girl was old enough to “vote with her feet” and she didn’t want to go.
Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Sharon Gianelli found McPhilmy to be in contempt of court and imposed the hefty fine, saying an older child’s preferences matter when a court decides custody but those preferences don’t rule and a parent cannot be immune from penalties for ignoring court orders by using a child’s wishes as a shield.
O’Reilly’s lawyer Bernard Clair declined to comment. The New York Law Journal reported that McPhilmy’s attorneys plan to appeal.
In her sharply worded decision, Gianelli said McPhilmy never had a “sincere intention” of following the court’s order to share custody and the couple has engaged in “marathon litigation” over custody since their divorce was finalized in 2011.