Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, left, has lost a years-long battle with his own children over his right to have custody of them – and in Australia evangelical Pasquale (‘Pat’) Mesiti, right, has pleaded guilty to assaulting his second wife.
According to this report, O’Reilly, a conservative Catholic who never hesitated to lecture (mostly African-American) parents on how to raise their families, a New York appeals court put an end to the protracted family battle by affirming a lower court’s decision that O’Reilly’s teenage children don’t have to see him if they don’t want to and that they can live full-time with their mother, Maureen McPhilmy.
In 2013, he wrote an op-ed suggesting liberal parents being too gentle with their kids has led to almost all of society’s ills. He used Miley Cyrus twerking at the MTV Music Awards as an example.
But while O’Reilly used his position on Fox to take the moral high ground, at home he was reportedly “a monster”.
During the legal battle, all of O’Reilly’s skeletons came out of his closet and the picture was disturbing. In one example, leaked to the press, O’Reilly’s young daughter told a forensic examiner that she had watched O’Reilly brutally assault her mom in a fit of rage.
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.
Later, O’Reilly attempted to destroy his ex-wife’s reputation, going so far as to attempt to use his clout as a Republican celebrity to get her excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.
The New York appeals court seems to have taken this pattern of abuse into account when they issued their ruling:
Viewing the totality of the circumstances, 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.
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.
Mesiti admitted to one count of common assault in court after having previously pleaded not guilty. AP reports that prosecutors dropped a more serious charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The former evangelical preacher is currently on bail until his sentencing, which is expected on 23 March, but is barred from approaching his wife, Andrea, within 12 hours of consuming alcohol.
Court documents said he grabbed her “by the neck” after discovering that she had allowed a party at their home in Sydney to celebrate the New Year.
The two have been married for 13 years but separated last year and are now in the final stages of divorce.
Four years later, however, he returned to ministry as a motivational speaker, and is now billed as a “self-help guru”.
According to his website, Mesiti is an “income acceleration coach” and is hoping to “raise 10,000 millionaires through his works”.
He promises to:
Shift your mindset, touch your heart and increase your wealth.
Hat tip: Barriejohn (Mesiti report)