The divorce battle between Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and Maureen McPhilmy has become so gruesome that he is trying to get his ex-wife booted from the Catholic Church.
The couple split back in 2011 after a scandal involving allegations that McPhilmy was dating a Nassau County Police detective, whom she is now married to. But despite being formally divorced, O’Reilly is not done battling as the couple fights for custody of their two children, as well as good standing when it comes to being Catholic.
According to a report from Gawker, along with the custody battle, O’Reilly is also looking to annul his marriage from McPhilmy and have her booted from the Catholic Church, by using his connection with Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. The Fox News host is reportedly trying to bar McPhilmy from accepting communion at her local Catholic church in Long Island after the alleged cheating scandal with the detective. Gawker alleged O’Reilly’s acts are an attempt to exile his ex-wife from the church for her second marriage, which is not recognized in the eyes of God, according to Catholic practices.
While religion was not cited as the main reason for their divorce, one must wonder if their beliefs came between them leading up to their split.
Of course, O’Reilly and McPhilmy aren’t the first couple where religion played a large role in their split. And while we cannot confirm whether or not religion was the wedge that drove these couples to part, there’s no doubt religious conflicts played a part in these divorces, too.
Elisabeth Moss and Fred Armisen
Moss and Armisen formally divorced on May 13, 2011, after just one year of marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences.” While many have attributed their split to Armisen’s relationship with “SNL” co-star Abby Elliot, others believe it was Moss’s affiliation with the Church of Scientology that led to the breakup. Us Weekly reported, "Her religion was as important to her as their marriage, if not more. He could not get with it." Moss, who was born and raised a Scientologist, addressed the breakup last March and was mum about religion. “One of the greatest things I heard someone say about him is, 'He's so great at doing impersonations. But the greatest impersonation he does is that of a normal person,' Moss told the Post's Page Six Magazine. To me, that sums it up.”
Mayim Bialik and Michael Stone
Bialik and Stone, who were married for nine years and have two sons together, split in November last year, citing "irreconcilable differences." However, there was some buzz that the “Blossom” actress’ lifestyle, who observes Judaism and practices veganism, might have led to the split. Bialik, though, later said her attachment parenting style – which includes prolonged breastfeeding and co-sleeping – had nothing to do with the divorce. "The hands-on style of parenting we practice played no role in the changes that led to this decision,” she said in November. "Relationships are complicated no matter what style of parenting you choose."
Katy Perry and Russell Brand
After announcing their split back in December 2011 due to “irreconcilable differences,” rumors developed that Perry and Brand divorced over a religious quarrel. Perry, who was raised by evangelical Christian parents, told Vanity Fair, "I come from a very non-accepting family, but I'm very accepting. … Russell is into Hinduism, and I'm not [really] involved in it." However, Brand dispelled the rumors that the breakup was over her parents’ religious reasons in a conversation with Howard Stern back in July. "Her parents were lovely," Brand told Stern, MTV News reported.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie
Madonna and Guy Ritchie, who were married for seven years, split back in 2008 after multiple issues jolted the couple, one of which being the singer’s adamant practice of Kabbalah. A source told People magazine that while rumors pegged her relationship with star Alex Rodriguez as the cause, it became apparent the Yankee was not the only concern. “[A-Rod] was a factor in a long list of problems that they had been having over the past year or two," a friend told People in 2008, adding "Guy was never into the Kabbalah thing, but Madonna knew that.” Ritchie himself told "Extra" in 2008: "I don't really understand Kabbalah as a religion."
Later, Madonna’s practice of Kabbalah ruined another relationship with 24-year-old dancer Brahim Zaibat. According to The Daily Mail, Madonna and Zaibat split because he was a strict Muslim and she still a believer of Kabbalah. "Brahim's family had told him they did not want him going to Kabbalah meetings and wanted him to stick to his Muslim beliefs, which caused some rows. Things started to turn sour and they were hardly seeing each other,” a source told The Mail.
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony
Lopez and Anthony split after seven years of marriage together in July 2011 citing “irreconcilable differences.” While some of the reasons the former couple, who have twins together, broke up include “infidelity, professional jealousy and clashing personalities,” according to The New York Daily News, other theories include JLo’s acceptance of Scientology. Lopez, whose father practiced Scientology for more than two decades, told The Daily Beast in 2008 that she was considering sending her twins, Max David and Emme Guadalupe, to a special Scientology school. “Would you consider schooling Emme and Max in a Scientology school?” The Daily Beast asked. JLo responded: “Yeah. I wouldn’t mind. Not at all. Because I know that the technologies that they have are very helpful. … It’s all about communication. That’s the thing I really don’t like about talking about this. I do know so many great people who do do it, who choose it as a lifestyle and really follow it and it is their religion. … I just wish that people wouldn’t judge it without knowing what it is.” A source then told Showbizspy.com that Anthony “wasn’t a huge fan” of Scientology and “it caused problems.”