Reality TV love gone bad!
Manhattan divorce Howie Kohlenberg is blaming the demise of his 14-year marriage on Jerry Seinfeld's NBC series, The Marriage Ref.
Speaking to The New York Post, Kohlenberg alleges that his ex, Christine, became so obsessed with becoming a star after the couple's March 2010 appearance on the show that it broke up their marriage.
"The headline should read, 'Jerry Seinfeld ruined my life: the danger of reality shows,'" an angry Kohlenberg told The Post. The 47-year-old beauty products salesman also claims that, after the taping, his ex sought fame via a Real Housewives-type reality series and forced Kohlenberg — who has a 4 1/2-year-old son — to file for bankruptcy.
Appearing on the show last spring was initially a strategic move for the couple, who were told their spa business would be promoted on-air. Airing his marital dirty laundry in front of panelists Seinfeld, Eva Longoria and Tina Fey, Kohlenberg claimed producers told the couple their Ref appearance would set them up for instant stardom.
"The people on the show were pumping us up, saying, 'You're going to wake up and be stars. You're going to be famous and make money.' The producer kept saying her lips looked great, and all of a sudden she was getting a lot of Botox," the former contestant said.
In the months since their TV debut, Christine has been "getting this huge head," according to her ex.
"She wants to do Playboy. We almost got kicked off the show because she was putting racy photos on Facebook," he said. "I'm not saying our marriage was perfect, but [our appearance] put it in a whole new direction. It was the nail in the coffin.
"Everybody thinks reality shows are glamorous — you're going to get rich, and it's going to be the next Jersey Shore," continued Kohlenberg. "They make you jump through hoops, the bottom line is they don't give a s–t. You're just another number."
For his part, Seinfeld is laughing off the former contestant's claims.
"I love it, I love, I love it! When people get upset I enjoy it," Seinfeld retorted to The New York Daily News Monday. "Anything that alleviates the withering, blithering boredom of existence I'm in favor of."
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