A New York appeals court denied Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s petition seeking custody of his two children, Gawker reported on Monday.
The court’s Feb. 24 ruling upheld a Nassau County Supreme Court decision granting full custody of the 12-year-old boy and 17-year-old girl to Maureen McPhilmy, the Factor host’s ex-wife.
“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,” the Appellate Division Second Judicial Department court stated. “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.”
Court transcripts published last May showed that the girl told a court-appointed psychologist that O’Reilly “was choking her mom or had his hands around her neck and dragged her down some stairs.”
The psychologist, Larry Cohen, also testified that the daughter told him that O’Reilly described McPhilmy as “an adulturer,” and described McPhilmy’s new husband as “not a good person.”
According to Cohen, the daughter said O’Reilly told him that, “if she spends her time or more time at the mother’s home, it will ruin her life.”
O’Reilly and McPhilmy divorced in September 2011 and originally agreed to split custody of the children.