(aka Tricia Walsh-Smith
) is a British playwright and actress. In April, 2008 she became internationally famous after posting a YouTube
video of herself discussing her divorce from her husband Philip Smith, president of The Shubert Organization
. In the video she explained that she was going to be unfairly evicted from her house in addition to describing alleged embarrassing personal details of Smith's life. Legal experts consider this the first known case where a spouse has used YouTube in attempt to gain leverage over the other in a divorce case.
Walsh's case has generated scrutiny and debate by legal and psychology experts on the implications of broadcasting personal issues using media like YouTube. Renowned psychologist Keith Ablow said, “We’re at a critical moment where people are turning to public broadcasts to express private thoughts. But I don’t think it’s connecting people necessarily. I think it’s disconnecting them from their own life stories.” As for the legal implications in Walsh's divorce case, MSNBC's senior legal analyst Susan Filan told the show, "A judge isn’t really going to care. In the end, a divorce, as upsetting and emotional as it is, is just a financial transaction. You’re doing backwards math. You’re trying to make one household go into two. Somebody’s going to have to give something to somebody else.”
Walsh has appeared on The Insider numerous times as well as Fox News Channel's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.
Beginning with a press release on her website on July 23, 2008, Walsh seemed to have publicly changed her name from Tricia Walsh-Smith, her married name, to simply Tricia Walsh.
On July 21, 2008 a Manhattan judge awarded Philip Smith a divorce from Tricia Walsh on the grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment. The Judge, Harold Beeler, blasted Walsh for her YouTube 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.
Judge Beeler also ruled that the prenuptial agreement, signed three weeks before the couple's 1999 wedding, was valid. Per that agreement, Walsh must leave the Park Avenue apartment the couple shared within 30 days and that Philip Smith, president of the Shubert Organization, the largest theater owner on Broadway, must pay her $750,000.
Walsh left the Manhattan apartment on July 6, having received the $750,000 payment at the threshold. An appeal on the prenuptial agreement ruling was filed by her attorneys August 11.
Previously, Walsh has appeared in more than 500 commercials on British television, most notably for Hellmann's Mayonnaise
, on the Benny Hill Show
and has written the play Bonkers
which premiered in London
Originally from Beverley, East Yorkshire
, Walsh attended the Italia Conti Academy
and began appearing in commercials, most notably for Hellmann's Mayonnaise
. Later she acted in the British horror film Terror
and the childrens' television drama Grange Hill
While working as a Playboy Bunny at a Playboy Club on London's Park Lane, she met her first husband John Obertelli, with whom she had a son. The stormy marriage ended in divorce. She had a brief second marriage to American businessman Jerald Arnold.
She met her 3rd husband, Philip Smith, at a Park Avenue wedding reception in 1995. The two married in New York City in 1999. A divorce was granted at Philip Smith's request in July 2008.