Friday, August 22, 2008

Remember the YouTube Video of the Complaining Wife?

I wrote about the case here and here. Now for the rest of the story....

US media: Wife's rant on YouTube falls foul of judge

A British actor who took her battle against her millionaire husband to the internet, posting videos that lambasted him on YouTube and which gained an audience of millions, has been ordered to leave her New York home by a judge who has ruled her behaviour was "spousal abuse".

Tricia Walsh-Smith, 52, whose previous claim to fame had been bit parts in the Benny Hill Show and a play she wrote called Bonkers, had the YouTube videos professionally filmed in the Park Avenue apartment she has shared for 13 years with her husband. In them she claimed Philip Smith, a Broadway producer, 77, was trying to evict her and leave her penniless.

'Callous' YouTube rant divorcee criticises £350,000 settlement - Telegraph: "Tricia Walsh-Smith received £350,000 after her husband Philip Smith - whom she claimed was worth £30 million - was granted a divorce on the grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment.

After the ruling, the flamboyant blonde said she was disgusted by the decision and complained: 'I'd be better off in Baghdad.'"

Man wins divorce from angry wife in YouTube video:

Judge Harold Beeler blasted Walsh-Smith for her video stunt, which he called "a calculated and callous campaign to embarrass and humiliate her husband" and to pressure him into settling the divorce case on more favorable terms than were stated in their prenuptial agreement.

"She has attempted to turn the life of her husband into a soap opera by directing, writing, acting in and producing a melodrama," the judge said.

He said Monday that the prenuptial agreement, signed three weeks before the couple's 1999 wedding, was valid. This means that Walsh-Smith must leave their Park Avenue apartment within 30 days and that Smith, president of the Shubert Organization, the largest theater owner on Broadway, must pay her $750,000.

YouTube hubby wins divorce

One of her attorneys, Joseph P McCaffrey, said they would appeal.

The famed divorce attorney Raoul Felder began representing Walsh-Smith after she made the video. Felder previously had termed the whole thing "funny, but there's also sadness".

"This is a victim who is holding her head up," he said. "I think she comes off well."

'Love is blind'

Felder has explained that his client was "acting out of passion".

He called the prenuptial agreement she'd signed with her husband, who is a quarter-century older than her, "stupid".

So why did his client sign?

"Why do women sign these things? Love is blind, and sometimes it is deaf and dumb, too," Felder said.

The video, he added, was the act of a powerless person, and "revolutions are made by powerless people".

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