The Schadenfreude Shortage is Officially Over

After Bill O’Reilly and his wife separated, she started dating a cop, and he used the promise of donations to a police charity to get the police commissioner to order an investigating his wife’s boyfriend:

Last summer, Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly came to believe that his wife was romantically involved with another man. Not just any man, but a police detective in the Long Island community they call home. So O’Reilly did what any concerned husband would do: He pulled strings to get the police department’s internal affairs unit to investigate one of their own for messing with the wrong man’s lady.

We reported in June that Bill O’Reilly and his wife of 15 years Maureen McPhilmy O’Reilly seem to be on the outs. Last summer she purchased a separate home under her own name, and transferred her voter registration to the new address, while O’Reilly kept his registration current at their old address. As per usual, Fox News did not comment on the situation at the time. Since then we’ve learned what happened, and it’s like Bridges of Madison County meets Copland. When confronted with a potentially disloyal spouse, O’Reilly reacted by—not unlike his boss Roger Ailes—treating his local police department like a private security force and trying to damage one cop’s career for the sin of crossing Bill O’Reilly.


Richard Harasym is a 23-year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department who, as of last summer, had been a detective in the elite internal affairs unit for 12 years. His job was to catch crooked cops, root out corruption, and police the police. But at some point during the summer of 2010, his commanding officer, Inspector Neil Delargy, called him into his office with a highly unorthodox assignment: Harasym was to launch an investigation into a fellow officer based not on what he had done, but on who he was dating.

Delargy ordered Harasym to meet with two private detectives working on behalf of Bill O’Reilly. They had information about an NCPD officer they believed to be carrying on with O’Reilly’s wife. Delargy told Harasym to launch an investigation into the man and to tell him to end the relationship.


According to our source, Delargy offered Harasym no justification for investigating the detective—who is unmarried—aside from the alleged infidelity. “The order was to investigate this detective not for any misdeeds,” the source said, “but to see if they could get anything on him. Delargy also told him to tell the detective to back off.”

Delargy told Harasym that the investigation was highly sensitive for two reasons, the source said: 1) It was ordered directly by then-police commissioner Lawrence Mulvey, and 2) O’Reilly was at the time considering making a major donation to the Nassau County Police Department Foundation, a private not-for-profit foundation Mulvey helped found in 2009 to raise money for construction of a planned $48 million police training facility at Nassau Community College.

“These internal affairs cops were on the case at the behest of Mulvey in order to get O’Reilly’s funds,” the source said.

I don’t know from the story if Billo broke any laws here.  In order for him to have broken the law, he would have had make statements implying that there would be no donation forthcoming unless they targeted his wife’s boyfriend, but with allegations that Mulvey routinely offered favors to people who made donations to his charity, it does seem that there is some serious ethical lapses.

The fact that this mirrors Newscorp’s payoffs to in matters related to the phone hacking scandal in the UK makes it even more amusing.

I think that I will have a surfeit of schadenfreude to last me through September.


  1. stuhlmann says:

    You have to realize what is at stake for Bill.  His whole personna is based on being a staunch and faithful Catholic.  As such, if his wife divorces him, he can never remarry.  The Catholic Church believes that marriage is for life and does not recognise court-ordered divorces.  The church also does not approve of sex outside of marriage.  So Bill is really screwed – or rather he won't be screwed again.  He can't remain the über-catholic and at the same time begin seeing other women in defiance of church policy. 

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