Those working on “The Bachelor” and its sister shows are in wait-and-see mode as a domestic incident involving creator Mike Fleiss continues to be investigated in Kauai, according to sources close to production.
The results of the police investigation are still pending, after Fleiss’ wife, Laura Fleiss, had accused him of attacking her in their Hawaii home on July 4. A Kauai county public information officer told Variety last week that no arrests have been made.
At Warner Horizon Television, which produces “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise,” no internal investigation has been initiated against Mike Fleiss, according to sources, who say the incident is being treated as a private, domestic matter, and has not impacted the franchise’s ongoing operations.
Fleiss is generally not involved in day-to-day production of “The Bachelor” or its affiliated shows, and pre-production has begun on the next season of “Bachelor in Paradise.” If the investigation in Kauai does not result in charges and Fleiss and his wife reach an amicable settlement, he is expected to resume his involvement on “The Bachelor” franchise, according to sources.
The allegations against Mike Fleiss surfaced last week, with court documents revealing that Laura Fleiss had filed for divorce from “The Bachelor” creator, after she alleged in an initial filing that Mike Fleiss had grabbed her and forcibly pinned her against a wall after becoming “enraged” that she had become pregnant against his wishes. She was about 10 weeks pregnant at the time. According to the documents, he “demanded” that she have an abortion, and threatened to “punch her in the face.”
“While Mike has frequently been verbally abusive towards me during our marriage, in recent weeks, he has become enraged, due to the fact I am pregnant with our second child. Mike told me many times that he did not want us to have a second child,” she said in the filing.
In a separate court filing, Mike Fleiss denied the allegations and said that his wife was the one who had gotten physical, attacking him after he took her cell phone, and revealing text messages allegedly from his wife that she her “judgment was seriously clouded and [she] was so desperate for a baby after having the miscarriage that [she] lost it and wasn’t thinking clearly.” He says she has since disappeared with their 4-year-old son.
Warner Horizon has not offered further comment beyond a statement Tuesday that it is “aware of these serious allegations, and are looking into them.”
ABC, which airs the series, has not responded to requests for comment.
Fleiss previously made a stir in May after “Live With Kelly and Ryan” host Kelly Ripa said “The Bachelor” franchise “disgust[s]” her and called it a “gross, gross show.” Fleiss took to Twitter to tell Ripa “Easy, @KellyRipa… #TheBachelor franchise pays your salary!” Both shows broadcast on ABC. “Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo came to Ripa’s defense, tweeting that “we don’t attack successful women on our network and men certainly cannot take credit for their success.”
Separately, in March, Fleiss made headlines for tweeting that Khloe Kardashian was in talks to be the next “Bachelorette,” a claim she quickly shut down, telling him “I’m not f–cking clickbait right now. Stop or you will be hearing from my lawyers.”
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