New details from Bill O’Reilly’s custody trial paint him as absent father with violent, unpredictable temper

Teen daughter says he's too old to "act like an idiot" when he's angry

Published May 21, 2015 2:25PM (EDT)

Bill O'Reilly                  (Fox News)
Bill O'Reilly (Fox News)

On Monday, Gawker reported that during Fox News moralizer Bill O'Reilly's custody dispute with ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy, his 16-year-old daughter had recounted seeing her father grab McPhilmy by the throat and drag her down a staircase. Now, the website has obtained partial transcripts from the trial, corroborating the account.

The transcript includes testimony from Larry Cohen, a psychologist appointed to interview and make assessments about each member of the family during the dispute. (Note that "M." refers to O'Reilly's daughter.)

"M. reported -- having seeing an incident where I believe she said her dad was choking her mom or had his hands around her neck and dragged her down some stairs."

Cohen was later asked what sorts of things O'Reilly would say to the daughter about McPhilmy. He replied, "That she is an adulterer, and that her husband is, M.'s new stepfather is not a good person, and oh, if she spends her time or more time at the mother's home, it will ruin her life."

The transcripts also depict an absent father (M. said he was "never" around) and a man with a terrible temper who would go "ballistic," which M. described as "scary and demeaning."

Cohen recounts: "When I asked dad what he meant by going ballistic, he said that he would, quote, act like an idiot, close quote, which he can no longer do at his age or he can institute Plan B, which would be going out, hitting a tree or yelling and moaning. He said he worked hard to keep his emotions under control."

The Fox News host has repeatedly blasted the black community for its epidemic of absent fathers and the dissolution of the American family. He also, notably, sexually harassed former Fox News producer Andrea Mackris in 2004.

O'Reilly denied the accusations in a statement made to Politico: "All allegations against me in these circumstances are 100 percent false. I am going to respect the court-mandated confidentiality put in place to protect my children and will not comment any further."

By Joanna Rothkopf

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