The man who created The Bachelor franchise, Mike Fleiss, has filed for divorce from his wife of five years, Laura Kaeppeler. According to The Blast, the TV heavyweight filed legal documents on Wednesday to end his marriage on Wednesday, citing irreconcilable differences. The filing lists their separation date as July 7.
The filing also states that Fleiss, 55, has a prenuptial agreement with the 31-year-old, a former Miss Wisconsin who was crowned Miss America in 2012.
The former couple are parents to a 4-year-old son, Benjamin, of whom Fleiss is requesting joint legal and physical custody.
TMZ reports that Fleiss' net worth is around $100 million, and that he made around $25 million last year alone. He will pay Keappeler both child and spousal support, as per the prenuptial agreement.
Fleiss and Kaeppeler wed on April 6, 2014 at his home in Malibu in a ceremony officiated by The Bachelor host Chris Harrison. The show's go-to jeweler, Neil Lane, designed Kaeppeler's engagement ring and both of their wedding bands. Kaeppeler's diamond ring is more than five carats and features a central round diamond in a handmade platinum tulip design setting accented by smaller round diamonds, according to PEOPLE. Both bands were handmade in platinum, with Kaeppeler's set with diamonds on all three sides.
Fleiss, who also created The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelor Winter Games, was previously married to his high school sweetheart, Alexandra Vorbeck. Their 24-year marriage ended in 2012. The Bachelor debuted in 2002 and is going into its 24th season this fall, with The Bachelorette nearing the end of its 15th season.
“You guys, you know how I feel about the show. It disgusts me,” Ripa said at the time in May. “I can’t stand the idea of 25 exceptional women fighting over one ordinary fella, in my opinion. You know how I feel, ladies, we are too special to be arguing over a guy.”
In response, Fleiss and Harrison both weighed in on Twitter, with Harrison tweeting, "Look out [Bachelor Nation] [Kelly Ripa] is coming after you and your 'disgusting' Monday night habit."0comments
Fleiss added, "Easy, [Kelly Ripa] ... [The Bachelor] franchise pays your salary!" referring to the fact that ABC produces and distributes LIVE with Kelly and Ryan and also airs The Bachelor and its spinoffs.
Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo later waded into the fray, telling Fleiss, "we don’t attack successful women on our network." Grey's Anatomy also airs on ABC.