Husband of YouTube Star "mortified" by publicity

Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:29pm EDT
 
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By Edith Honan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Broadway producer whose wife found YouTube fame after posting monologues about their failed, high-society marriage described himself in court on Friday as "mortified" and "violated" by the experience.

Philip Smith, 76, president of the Shubert Organization, is suing his wife, British actress Tricia Walsh Smith, 49, for divorce on the grounds that the videos, which have been viewed more than four million times, constitute spousal abuse.

"I'm basically a very private person. I've made an effort not to be exposed to the press," said Smith. "That was my first experience with YouTube. I was absolutely mortified and shocked. Here was my life being spread out on a TV."

"I felt violated in every sense of the word," he said.

In the videos, several of which were taped in the couple's swank Park Ave. apartment, Walsh Smith accuses her husband and his daughters of conspiring to evict her from the apartment, and says she discovered her husband hoarding Viagra even though they never had sex.

Walsh Smith testified on Tuesday that she believed a public spectacle was her only recourse to avoid being left penniless She also testified that she has been paid more than $88,000 in fees for giving interviews about the case.

When asked by his lawyer if he would ever consider reconciling with Walsh Smith, Smith did not hesitate.

"Absolutely not, under no conditions," he said. "I can no longer trust her, impossible. I wouldn't close my eyes and go to sleep in front of her."

Reuters/Nielsen

 
<p>A man looks at YouTube's web site in a file photo. REUTERS/Peter Jones</p>