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‘RHOC’ Newcomer Noella Bergener Claims Estranged Husband James Abandoned Their Autistic Son Amid Their Divorce

RHOCs Noella Bergener Claims Estranged Husband Abandoned Their Autistic Son
Noella Bergener with her son insetted. Courtesy of Noella Bergener/Instagram (2)

Update — Tuesday, December 21: “I look forward to addressing all these false accusations in a courtroom,” James said in a statement to Us Weekly. “A judge in Puerto Rico, where I am a resident, has already granted our divorce. Ultimately Noella is the mother of my child and I will not publicly disparage her.”

Original story: Not holding back. As fans watch Noella Bergener deal with her divorce on The Real Housewives of Orange County, the reality star revealed that her situation with estranged husband James Bergener has only gotten worse.

Related: Every Bravo Star Breakup in 2021

“5 months ago my husband and partner of 6 years left the house with his toothbrush leaving behind his life, family and home,” Noella, 36, wrote in a lengthy Instagram post on Sunday, December 19, alongside a clip from an upcoming episode of RHOC. “He ended our marriage with service of divorce papers from Puerto Rico. Which he doesn’t qualify for since we are California citizens and nothing untoward happened in our marriage there.”

The sneak peek at the Wednesday, December 22, episode showed Noella emotionally reacting to the divorce papers. According to the Bravo personality, the issues between her and James have only gotten worse since then.

“To this date James has not visited our son or given me any explanation for his departure. He has fled the state to evade service,” she continued, addressing the news that the lawyer allegedly owes the IRS and the State of California around $5.8 million. “My cards are still shut off, he hasn’t paid a dime in support, he stopped paying for our home and is currently holding up our divorce unless I sign a statement saying that I lied about him, his business partner and his brand.”

Noella claimed that she spoke “nothing but the truth” when it came to her ex, adding, “If anything I really protected my husband by not speaking about his issues but rather focused on my journey in this now divorce. He is the father of my child and want him to be well.”

The RHOC newcomer explained that she chose to stay on the show because “it was the only thing getting me out of bed,” while also hoping that “others going through something similar” could relate to her story.

Related: The Messiest Bravo Breakups of All Time

“I realize there are three sides to every story. I have asked him to give an explanation through a 3rd party to provide insight which he has repeatedly declined. Everything I’ve said and am saying are FACTS,” she continued. “Thank you for your continued support and prayers for my family. I don’t wish to encourage James bashing with this post. Just providing insight to the hell I am still in.”

Noella, who married James in June 2020, discussed the shift in her marriage with Nicole James in the RHOC clip.

“I still need to find him in order to turn back on the credit cards and make sure the rent gets paid and in order to move forward with my son’s therapy,” the California native, who shares 2-year-old son James with her estranged husband, detailed.

Related: Mention It All! Real Housewives’ Legal Troubles Through the Years

While addressing her son’s autism diagnosis in another scene with costar Shannon Beador, Noella said that it was “definitely a curveball we didn’t anticipate.”

In court documents obtained by Us Weekly in August, Noella filed for legal separation and cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for their split. Noella also requested to receive primary and physical custody of their son, with a request that her estranged husband only have visitation rights.

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs on Bravo Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.

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