July 21, 2008 / 11:28 PM / 12 years ago

Judge rules against YouTube star in divorce court

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A British actress who earned YouTube stardom after posting monologues about her failed high society marriage was cruel to her husband and must vacate their apartment within a month, a New York judge ruled on Monday.

Tricia Walsh Smith, 49, has until August 21 to move out of the swank Park Avenue apartment belonging to Broadway producer Philip Smith, 77. The apartment provided a backdrop for some of Walsh Smith’s video monologues, which have been seen by millions of viewers on the YouTube Web site.

Philip Smith, the president of the Shubert Organization which owns Broadway theatres and stages shows, had sued for divorce on the grounds the videos constituted spousal abuse. He was ordered to pay Walsh Smith $50,000 (25,000 pounds) immediately and, within 30 days, $700,000 promised under the couple’s prenuptial agreement, signed before their 1999 wedding.

In accepting Smith’s grounds of divorce, New York State Supreme Court Judge Harold Beeler found that Walsh Smith engaged in a “calculated and callous campaign to embarrass and humiliate her husband and his daughters.”

Beeler also rejected Walsh Smith’s claim that the prenuptial agreement be voided. She had argued she did not understand the agreement and that she deserved more money.

“(Smith) has been publicly humiliated to an unprecedented extent,” Beeler wrote in a 9-page decision.

Walsh Smith had testified that she made the videos — several of which were played in court — after her millionaire husband threatened to leave her penniless.

In them Walsh Smith accuses her husband and his daughters of conspiring to evict her from the plush apartment and says she discovered her husband hoarding the impotence drug Viagra even though they never had sex.

“I’m terribly sorry that it had to come to this, but I’m obviously happy with the result,” Smith told reporters outside the courtroom.

Walsh Smith vowed to appeal and said that she had no regrets about making the videos.

“It brought attention to my plight and the plight of a lot of other women,” she told reporters. “A woman should not be thrown out of her home for no reason.”

editing by Christine Kearney and Cynthia Osterman

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