Tricia Walsh-Smith

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Tricia Walsh-Smith
Tricia Walsh-Smith.jpg
Born 1956 (age 57–58)
Gütersloh, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany
Occupation Actress

Tricia Walsh-Smith (born in 1956) is a British playwright and actress. Her plays include Bonkers, Addictions, The Last Journey and musical Change The Day. She has also appeared in a number of commercials in Britain and Europe.

Early life[edit]

Born in RAF Gütersloh, Germany, Walsh-Smith was part of a military family which traveled the world until her RAF father's death, when she settled briefly in her mother's hometown of Beverley, East Yorkshire.[1] Walsh-Smith attended the Italia Conti Academy and began appearing in commercials, most notably for Hellmann's Mayonnaise.[1] Later she acted in the British horror film, Terror,[2] Kenny Everett Video Show, the sitcom Constant Hot Water, the 1986 drama, The Best Years of Your Life, and the children's television drama, Grange Hill.[1][3]


Walsh-Smith appeared in over five hundred commercials on British and European television, most notably for Hellmann's Mayonnaise, on the Dick Emery Show and has written the play Bonkers which premiered in London in 1987.[1][4][5]

In December 2008 Walsh-Smith released the song "I'm Going Bonkers" on iTunes. Its video featured her in bondage gear and dancing around London. The video went viral and quickly became YouTube's number one entertainment video.[6]

Walsh-Smith's play, Addictions, has been used at a number of benefit readings to raise awareness and generate charitable giving for addicts.[7] In 2007 she cancelled one production of the play after learning that Smirnoff Vodka had become a sponsor.[8] She explained: "I was absolutely stunned. I couldn't believe it. The idea of having Smirnoff sponsoring this play, which is about addiction - what were they thinking? ... If we had gone ahead, I would have been looked at as a total hypocrite."[8] She has previewed much of the material from Arm Candy at nightclubs in London and at the O2 Arena. Some of the songs were featured in the 12-part television series "Pineapple Dance Studios", which aired in 2010 on Sky1 in the UK. In 2011 she appeared in "Louie Spence's Showbusiness", also on Sky1. For this series she made two music videos: "Stuff Ding Dong Merrily On High!", for the Christmas Special; and "Should I Go In The Jungle?", which was reportedly a tongue in cheek lampooning of the ITV1 series, "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!". Episode Ten featured a workshop of her musical, Change The Day.

Walsh-Smith has appeared on CBS's The Insider as well as on Good Morning America, ABC Television, Inside Edition, Fox News Channel's Geraldo and On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.[1][9]

Personal life[edit]

She met her first husband John Obertelli in 1975 and married him in 1981. They had a son, Jamie.They divorced in 1989. She then had a brief second marriage to American businessman Jerald Arnold.[3] She met her third husband, Philip J. Smith (CEO of the Shubert Organization), at a Park Avenue wedding reception in 1995. The two married in New York City in 1999, and divorced in 2008.[1]

Divorce from Philip Smith[edit]

In April 2008 she attracted international attention for posting a YouTube video of herself discussing her divorce from her husband Philip Smith.[1][10][11] In the video she stated that she was going to be unfairly evicted from her house and also described personal details of Smith's life.[4][12][13] While The Telegraph called her "only the latest in a long line of people who have used the web in an attempt to get even",[10] some 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.[14]

Fox News named the initial video one of "The Top 5 Viral Videos of 2008."[15]

Walsh-Smith's case has generated scrutiny and debate by legal and psychology experts on the implications of broadcasting personal issues using media like YouTube.[12] 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."[12] 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."[12]

On 21 July 2008 a Manhattan judge awarded Philip Smith a divorce from Tricia Walsh-Smith. The judge, Harold Beeler, criticized Walsh-Smith for her YouTube video, 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.[4][13][16]

Four of the fraud counts against bogus lawyer Giovanni Di Stefano related to Walsh-Smith, including charges related to the divorce aftermath.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Eaton, Phoebe (1 June 2008). "The YouTube Divorcée". New York Magazine. 
  2. ^ Terror (1978) at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ a b Hendry, Sharon (22 May 2008). "Don't get mad get even". The Sun (London). 
  4. ^ a b c Leonard, Tom (27 June 2008). "Tricia Walsh-Smith in court after YouTube rants". London: The Daily Telegraph. 
  5. ^ Thompson, Paul (14 April 2008). "The playwright who took to YouTube with sex and porn allegations against her husband". London: The Daily Mail. 
  6. ^ Steele, Francesca (8 December 2008). "The Web Watcher: Tricia Walsh-Smith Does It Again". London: The Times. 
  7. ^ Adams, Cindy (24 August 2007). "Real-Life Broadway Tragedy". New York Post. 
  8. ^ a b "Playwright Pulls Smirnoff-Sponsored Addiction Play". 31 January 2007. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  9. ^ "Angry YouTube Divorcee Speaks Out (transcript)". Fox News Channel / On the Record. 28 May 2008. 
  10. ^ a b Bryony Gordon (16 April 2008). ""Tricia Walsh-Smith: is revenge now a dish best served online?", Telegraph, 16 April 2008". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  11. ^ Honan, Edith (27 June 2008). "Spurned wife defends tell-all YouTube videos". News Limited (Australia). 
  12. ^ a b c d Celizic, Mike (17 April 2008). "YouTube divorce rant has experts talking". MSNBC / The Today Show. 
  13. ^ a b "Tricia Walsh-Smith loses Philip Smith divorce case". Melbourne Herald Sun. 22 July 2008. [dead link]
  14. ^ staff (16 April 2008). "YouTube divorce video released by Tricia Walsh Smith". Chicago Tribune. 
  15. ^ Wagenseil, Paul (1 January 2009). "The Top 5 Viral Videos of 2008". Fox News. 
  16. ^ P, A (22 July 2008). "Husband wins divorce from angry wife in YouTube video". CNN. 

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