Broadway Divorce Becomes YouTube Drama
The breakup of the Shubert Organization president and his actress-wife gets nasty
Heather Mills, move over. An actress in the middle of a nasty breakup with her Broadway mogul husband is not only taking her case to court but to the entire audience of YouTube in what is considered a first.
In her six-minute video (which as of Wednesday morning had received more than 287,000 hits), British actress and playwright Tricia Walsh-Smith lashes out at husband Phil Smith, president of the Shubert Organization, the largest theater owner on Broadway – and the man who now wants her out of his life.
On camera in the Park Avenue apartment from which she says she is being forcibly evicted by him, Walsh-Smith (who is 25 years her spouse’s junior) reveals candid facts about the marriage and at one point gets on speaker phone and calls Smith’s assistant to ask what she should do with her estranged husband’s Viagra and porn collection.
“This is absolutely a new step, and I think it’s scary,” Bonnie Rabin, a divorce lawyer who has handled high-profile cases, tells the Associated Press. “It brings the concept of humiliation to a whole new level.”
Famed divorce lawyer Raoul Felder, who is now representing Walsh-Smith, considers the video (which was filmed before he took her on as a client) “funny, but there’s also sadness. This is a victim who is holding her head up. I think she comes off well.”
Not everyone is laughing. Smith’s office said he had no comment. His lawyers said the same, “other than that we’re kind of appalled.”
A close friend of the couple’s, after viewing the video, tells PEOPLE that Walsh-Smith “has always been kind of fun, but this is out of control.” Furthermore, says the friend, “Phil is a very decent and nice guy who doesn’t deserve any of this.”