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Man wins divorce from wife in YouTube video

Image: Tricia Walsh-Smith
Tricia Walsh-Smith arrives at the New York State Supreme Court in New York, July 21, 2008. Walsh-Smith, a British former actress, gained notoriety by posting video monologues on the internet site YouTube to attack her husband, Broadway producer Philip Smith.Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters
/ Source: The Associated Press

A Broadway mogul whose wife trashed him in a widely viewed Internet video was granted a divorce from her Monday.

A Manhattan judge gave Philip Smith a divorce from Tricia Walsh-Smith on the grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment.

Walsh-Smith lashes out against Smith in the tearful and furious YouTube video, which has attracted more than 3 million hits. She makes embarrassing claims about their intimate life and then calls his office to repeat those claims to a stunned assistant.

On the video, Walsh-Smith also goes through their wedding album, describing family members as "bad," "evil" or "nasty," and expresses concern about eviction from the couple's luxury apartment.

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.

Smith said after the ruling he was "sorry it had to come to this."

"I'm happy with the decision of the judge, and I'm happy with the outcome," he said.

Walsh-Smith, a former actress and playwright, didn't see the decision the same way.

"I think it's disgusting," she said. "I'm really, really disappointed with the decision."

She accused Smith of "basically throwing me out on the street." One of her attorneys, Joseph P. McCaffrey, said they would appeal.

Renowned divorce attorney Raoul Felder began representing Walsh-Smith after she made the video. Felder previously said his client was "acting out of passion."

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