'RHOC' Star Noella Bergener and Estranged Husband James Battle on Social Media Amid Divorce
By Mona Khalifeh
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Real Housewives of Orange County star Noella Bergener's divorce continues to play out, both on and off the Bravo reality TV show. On Christmas Eve, Noella's estranged husband, James Bergener, took to Instagram to share a series of videos, slamming Noella and claiming that she changed once she started filming RHOC.
In the first clip, James claims that Noella is the one who filed for separation, prompting him to make the decision to leave and go to their vacation home in Puerto Rico, where he currently resides, and has since been granted divorce from the reality TV star.
"As filming got closer and closer, though, she changed. Her sole focus became the show. We rarely spoke, and when we did, we’d end up in fights," James claimed. "She retained an attorney, and then shortly thereafter, my attorney reached out to me and said, ‘Noella’s filing for separation.’ I had to leave. At that time, it was clear that Noella chose the show over me and the family."
James went on to share that he no longer knows who Noella is anymore, adding that the pair went down a path of "sex, drugs and rock and roll," while they were together and he has since cleaned up his act.
James ended his first explainer by wishing Noella the best, but he wasn't done there. In a follow-up clip, James spoke about their son, and how he's continued to support him despite Noella's claims to the contrary.
"My love for my son has never waned or waxed or left. I have not abandoned him. Since separating from Noella, I’ve paid nearly $100,000 in housing. I’ve paid over $50,000 in household goods and supplies for him," he claimed. "Over $15,000 in childcare and therapy. I continue to support my son and I always will. Again, I am not a perfect man, but the love I have for my son is, and I will never abandon him or leave him."
James went on to stress that he plans to work with Noella through their issues so that they can work out a "beneficial custody program" for their son. He also shared a statement from his attorney which laid out the timeline of their marriage and divorce in order to "provide the public with the facts" as to what is really going on between the pair.
It didn't take long for Noella to address James' videos with a few statements of her own, in which she shot down the "lies" she says James was spewing in his videos, including her choosing the show over their marriage, facts about their divorce, his support of their son and the tax liens being leveled against him.
"Lie - That I chose the show over our marriage. James wanted me on the show to promote his brand. He was my biggest cheerleader throughout the process. Only after his background check revealed he had lied to me for years about his tax debts did he hesitate," Noella claimed alongside the videos James had posted to his page. "At this point, 4 days before filming, it was too late to pull out and frankly the show was the only thing keeping him honest.
She further claimed, "Lie - I was going to file for separation which made him file for divorce. I retained an attorney with his blessing. He paid the retainer! What James was telling me about his partner’s indictment, financial divorce from his ex & his tax debts didn’t make sense to me. I wanted a 3rd party to confirm he was being truthful. He wasn’t but I still did not file."
When it comes to their son, Noella claims that James has not only not paid support, but also claims that he has not seen their son once in the past five months, despite making several trips back to Orange County from Puerto Rico.
"Lie - James has paid support. James cut my cc’s when he left and emptied my savings. He cut my Venmo & PayPal which I use to pay our son’s therapists. I have to send him invoices which he often pays late resulting in our son not getting treatment that week," she claimed. "I have a cc number on Instacart & Amazon. That is how my family has made it these past months. He has not paid rent and we’re in fear of eviction every day."
She further alleged, "James has been in & out of OC multiple times in the past 5 months shooting a commercial, getting Botox & going out but hasn’t seen his son once. Seriously 💔."
In a series of posts that followed, Noella went on to share the "movement" being made with regard to their divorce proceedings as well as continue to clear the air about an agreement she claims the pair made four months ago but James has yet to sign off on.
"IT'S BEEN 4 MONTHS!! since we made that agreement. Since then he has refused to sign, threatened to sue the network, not seen our son, added illegal terms for me signing a retraction to Bravo, pushed forward with his fraudulent divorce in Puerto Rico, tortured me by withholding funds needed for our child, etc. I’m a tough cookie and can take a lot but your support after his Christmas Eve post has given me the right combination of courage & rage to speak out," Noella claimed. "For the first time in this relationship I have power and that is YOU✨ My goal truly is for James to be well and for our son to know and respect his father. He had a major lapse in judgment. I will make sure he goes to therapy before reentering our sons life but if he does the work and I can forgive him so can you. I just want this behind us so we can focus on coparenting our amazing son."
In the days leading up to the new year, Noella continued to stress her struggles with James and her desire to co-parent peacefully. While it seems like their divorce and months-long agreement are still up in the air, the reality TV star took New Year's Eve, which happens to be their wedding anniversary, to reflect on the year she spent with friends as she looks forward to what 2022 will bring.
"Today was a lot for me. It is my wedding anniversary with James & a night I didn’t think I would be riding solo. Going to a wedding seemed like a really bad idea. But thanks to such incredible friends @kenisilva_ & @steffy_xo it was exactly what I needed," Noella said about attending a wedding on the anniversary of her own. "LOVE no matter my ❤️🩹 is always something to celebrate. Instead of getting caught up in the countdown & the kiss I am going to remember this as the special year I was enveloped by the love and laughter of my friends. Count your blessings because they are many 💓💓💓 Happy 22 😘."