Online data miner and private investigator Joseph Culligan has noticed something curious: Bill O'Reilly's wife Maureen McPhilmy purchased a new house about a year ago, just down the street from the Long Island home she's shared with Bill-o since 2002. O'Reilly still owns the old one. And Fox News isn't saying whether they still live together.
According to property databases, McPhilmy—who as recently as March 2010 was going by the name "Maureen O'Reilly" in the newsletter of the Catholic Church her family attends—bought a five bedroom, 5,282 square foot home in Manhasset, NY, in May of last year for $2.5 million. The new house is less than half a mile from the waterfront Manhasset mansion she and O'Reilly have lived in with their kids for nearly a decade. She's listed, under her maiden name, as its sole owner. Bill O'Reilly, on the other hand, continues to be listed as the sole owner of the old place.
What's more, McPhilmy has changed her voter registration to the new address, while O'Reilly maintains an active registration at the old house.
There are a number of possible explanations for the transaction. One is that the family recently moved, or is in the process of moving, down the street. They purchased the new home (pictured) under McPhilmy's maiden name to hide from gawkers, O'Reilly hasn't updated his voter registration yet, and the old house is still on the market. Another is that McPhilmy purchased the new home for somebody else—an elderly family member, maybe—to live in but found it advantageous for some reason to take it as her official residence on paper. Another might be that Bill O'Reilly is a loathsome falafel-rubbing lech, and McPhilmy moved out but stayed close by for the sake of their two school-age children.
We asked a spokeswoman for Fox News via e-mail twice today which of those explanations—and maybe there are others!—were correct. She did not respond.