Real TV & Real Divorce
Howie Kohlenberg and his wife Christine agreed to appear on Jerry Seinfeld’s hit reality TV show The Marriage Ref because it seemed like a fun thing to do. The couple thought they might be able to promote their own spa business and if they got lucky, maybe even become billionaires themselves. Now a year later, Howie Kohlenberg says he holds both the famous comedian and his show, as responsible for the failure of his marriage. He says his wife Christine walked out on their 14-year marriage and 4-year-old son after discovering the glamour of being a reality show contestant on Jerry’s reality show.
Howie does admit his marriage was already in trouble when the couple first appeared in the show’s debut episode last year; after all, the name of the show is The Marriage Ref. But Kohlenberg still maintains that because he and his wife aired their problems with the show’s celebrity panel made up of Seinfeld, Eva Longoria and Tina Fey, his marriage fell apart. Kohlenberg claimed the producers of the show encouraged Christine’s desire for a new single life and places the blame for the eventual break down of his relationship on Seinfeld.
Although some are calling Kohlenberg’s claims “the weakest divorce excuse ever’ the irate husband was quoted in several New York newspapers as saying “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. Now she’s getting this huge head. She wants to do Playboy. We almost got kicked off the show because she was putting racy photos on Facebook. I’m not saying our marriage was perfect, but it put it in a whole new direction. It was the nail in the coffin.”
Even though Kohlenberg doesn’t accept any responsibility for his divorce many observers are having a hard time believing The Marriage Ref show alone is responsible for the divorce. The simple fact that the show is about couples having marital problems makes blaming The Marriage Ref for the divorce seem like a bit of a stretch. Jerry Seinfeld did not seem upset by Kohlenberg’s claims when he told the New York Daily News, “I love it, I love, I love it! When people get upset I enjoy it. That he’s having problems, and blaming me, it’s all – anything that alleviates the withering, blithering boredom of existence I’m in favor of.”