Noella Bergener has not even made her The Real Housewives of Orange County debut yet and she is already in the middle of drama in her personal life. Bergener's husband, Southern California personal injury lawyer James Bergener, has reportedly filed for divorce in Puerto Rico. James also reportedly owes the IRS and California almost $6 million in back taxes, news that "shocked" Bergener.
James filed for divorce from Bergener last week in Puerto Rico, according to new legal documents obtained by TMZ. The couple married in June 2020 and have a 2-year-old son. Bergener was "blindsided" by the filing, sources told TMZ, but the two are no longer living together in Orange County, California. Bergener has not directly commented on the divorce on Instagram, but she did share a video of herself in a pool on Friday with the caption "self-care." She also updated her Instagram bio to read, "Not so-Happy Housewife to Sweet James Sr."
View this post on Instagram
The divorce comes just weeks after Radar Online reported that James owes California and the IRS millions of dollars in taxes. In June, a federal tax lien accused James of not paying $1,878,438 in taxes in 2018 and $2,166,680 for 2019. The State of California also filed a tax lien against James on July 7, noting that he has not paid $1,851,225.04 in taxes for 2018 and 2019. His total tax debt comes to $5,896,343.04. The address on both liens is James' law firm address.
After the blog AllAboutTRH posted about the tax lien on Instagram, Bergener said she was "shocked" to learn about the liens just a week before filming began. "I was just as shocked and disgusted to find out a week before filming... and not from my husband," she wrote in response to the blog's Instagram post. "My marriage has been a fight every day since. I am being very open about my journey and looking at every option to settle my husband's debts. Stay tuned and please keep me in your prayers during this difficult time for me and my young family."
Bergener is expected to appear in Bravo's The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 16, alongside other new cast members Dr. Jen Armstrong and Nicole James. Bergener and James were friends with Braunwyn Windham-Burke, who starred in Seasons 14 and 15 before being kicked off the show. Heather Dubrow, Shannon Storms Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson are also expected to star in Season 16.
Bergener told fans she is no longer friends with Windham-Burke. "It was a great friendship till it wasn't. I've wanted to call her so many times since our bad breakup, but without trust, you have nothing," she wrote in an Instagram comment. "Wishing you and yours well."