New Real Housewives of Orange County castmember Noella Bergener is going through a messy divorce, and things got even crazier when James addressed the public on Christmas Eve. Noella has responded to the “lies” she said he told in these videos (including that they are already divorced,) and has appealed to the masses to send a message to James via Instagram.
On Christmas Eve, James Bergener posted three videos on his personal Instagram account addressing what he called “misstatements about our divorce” and information about his son, James Jr., with Noella. On Christmas Day, Noella responded via Instagram captions.
A few days later, on December 28, 2021, Noella, posted a black box to Instagram with an update that the divorce is finally moving forward after months of no action. She credits the RHOC episodes and comments from viewers as being the major catalyst to help everything move towards resolving. In a strange twist, Noella has appealed to her social media audience to influence James with their commenting and is asking people to send James a message about #coparenting instead of throwing tomatoes at his account with snarky emojis like 🤡 & 🤮.
Noella says that James hasn’t seen their son in five months and has cut off her access from their credit cards, Paypal and Venmo. She says she sends him invoices for their son’s Autism therapies, but he pays them late. She also claims that the only way she has been able to buy groceries and other necessities is because there are still credit cards saved on her Instacart and Amazon accounts.
Below are the transcripts of James’ Christmas Eve videos posted on his Instagram. These three videos are currently the only media on his account.
“Hello! James Bergener here. I just wanted to clear up another issue. My divorce from Noella was granted December 8 here in Puerto Rico. It is something I never wished I had to do,” James started off his holiday video messages.
“I have always been supportive of Noella and all that she has wanted to accomplish as she has been with me. Her dream was always to be on the show,” he revealed. “In fact, years ago when we were looking for places to live the houses had to be vetted to make sure that she could film for Housewives if she ever got on the show. I was so happy when she got on the show. She was ecstatic.
“As filming got closer and closer, though, she changed. The focus became the show. We rarely spoke, and when we did it ended in fights. She retained an attorney, and then shortly thereafter my attorney reached out to me and said that “Noella’s filing for separation.”
“I had to leave. At that time it was clear that Noella chose the show over me and the family. I love Noella, but I do not know who she is anymore.
“I grew up in a very conservative, Puritan background. With Noella I explored a world of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. I went down a very healthy path, and I lost nearly everything, including myself. I lost sight of who I was and who I am.
“Since our separation, I am healthy and happy. I’ve focused on being a better person, living a better lifestyle for myself, for my son. I take full responsibility for my actions, for my shortcomings, for my faults. I work on them daily. I will continue to work on them. I wish nothing but the best for Noella. I hope she is able to achieve all of the dreams that she has and I hope that she is happy and healthy too.”
James’ overall message in this video seems to be that Noella was a corruptive force in his life and that her dream of becoming a Real Housewife took over her life and ruined their marriage. He made no mention of his huge tax debt besides saying that he is taking full responsibility for his actions, shortcomings, and faults.
In the second video, James spends most of the time recounting the trip he and Noella took to get their son James Jr. from his surrogate mother in Tbilisi, Georgia. He remembers developing a feeding schedule for James and fighting the “bureaucratic nightmare” to take him home to the United States. He also makes the claim that he has paid over $165,000 towards’ James Jr.’ housing and care since he has been gone, citing that he had not abandoned his son.
“The purpose of this video is not to speak ill of Noella, for I won’t do that, especially in a public forum. I would like to talk about my son, however.
By way of a little bit of background, in my prior relationship, I was unable to have a child, and Noella endured two grueling rounds of IVF in order to have our boy. And for that, I am eternally grateful for her.
My son was born in Georgia. Not Atlanta, Georgia, but the Republic of Georgia in the beautiful city of Tbilisi. We had a surrogate out there and flew out to get him.
Holding him for the first time was life-changing in so many ways. To get him out of the country, however, was a bureaucratic nightmare. We were there for about a month. But during that time, it was amazing. I would set my alarm at night to get him his two-hour feeding. I really didn’t need to because I would wake up just before that alarm and I would have his bottle ready as he would stir. We were like perfectly synced. ANd it was such a joy to spent that time, intimate time, with him.
And when it was time to go, we’d go down to the government center and we had to go throw all this paperwork and it was just a mess and a mess.
I remember going down, and we went down early in the morning and I held my son and said we’re not leaving until I get to talk to a supervisor. And they finally came down, and I said, “this is my son, I am his father. I need to take him home.” We got the paperwork and we left that day.
My love for my son has never waned, or waxed, or left. I’ve not abandoned him. Since separating with Noella I have paid nearly $100,000 in housing, I’ve paid over $50,000 in household goods and supplies for him, over $15,000 in childcare and therapy. I continue to support my son, and always will. Again, I am not a perfect man, but the love I have for my son is, and I will never abandon him or leave him. Again, I’m sorry I had to make this video. I just hope that clears some things up.”
James’ last video was very short. “I am currently working with Noella to resolve all of our issues, and to work out a beneficial custody program for our son. And, wish us luck,” he said.
On Christmas Day, Noella responded.
“Today my ex called me for the first time in 5 months,” she wrote on an Instagram caption. “He asked for my help with his PR. I said of course. I told him to stop holding up support, get his son a gift for Xmas & that I was going to use my settlement to buy a home for our family and I’d publicly thank him. Hours later he posted this. I don’t know why this is happening 😔 I was very protective of him during filming and focused solely on my journey. Aforementioned receipts. Know they are real, criminal & horrifying to relive so for the sake of our son don’t ever want them to see the light of day. Happy Holidays to single moms 💓
Lie – That I chose the show over our marriage
James wanted me on the show to promote his brand. He was my biggest cheerleader throughout the process. Only after his background check revealed he had lied to me for years about his tax debts did he hesitate. At this point, 4 days before filming, it was too late to pull out and frankly the show was the only thing keeping him honest
Lie – I was going to file for separation which made him file for divorce
I retained an attorney with his blessing. He paid the retainer! What James was telling me about his partner’s indictment, financial divorce from his ex & his tax debts didn’t make sense to me. I wanted a 3rd party to confirm he was being truthful. He wasn’t but I still did not file.
Lie – James has paid support
James cut my cc’s (credit cards) when he left and emptied my savings. He cut my Venmo & PayPal which I use to pay our son’s therapists. I have to send him invoices which he often pays late resulting in our son not getting treatment that week. I have a cc number on Instacart & Amazon. That is how my family has made it these past months. He has not paid rent and we’re in fear of eviction every day
Lie – That we’re divorced
James fraudulently filed for divorce in Puerto Rico due to his tax scheme. It is under appeal since he lied multiple times in his testimony and jurisdiction is in California where we’re residents and were married.
Lie – James as a dad
James has been in & out of OC multiple times in the past 5 months shooting a commercial, getting Botox & going out but hasn’t seen his son once. Seriously 💔”
On December 28, 2021, Noella wrote this lengthy update:
“I am posting this with every hope to delete shortly after. If you read nothing else just know for the first time in months there is forward movement in my divorce. The episodes, but more importantly, your comments are doing more in 3 weeks than lawyers and courts in months. That is amazing and I thank you 🙏🏽 Please keep it up and I can start the year in a fresh space and a coparenting plan. Four months ago my husband and I reached an agreement in mediation that was very generous to him and fair to me in regards to our son. Given he stated in his divorce filing that he lives in Puerto Rico and our son & I live in California he already gave me custody. Out of respect to him as a father I still wanted to give him 50% legal custody.
Legal counsel has advised me not to discuss money. I want to be open though so you can see that I’m fighting for my son. With the plane ($8mill) our vacation house ($14mill) etc.. we acquired during our year of marriage the $2mill I’m settling for, I know that that sounds high but can’t buy a 4bd house with that in our neighborhood, I thought was more than fair. ITS BEEN 4 MONTHS!! since we made that agreement. Since then he has refused to sign, threatened to sue the network, not seen our son, added illegal terms for me signing a retraction to Bravo, pushed forward with his fraudulent divorce in Puerto Rico, tortured me by withholding funds needed for our child, etc. I’m a tough cookie and can take a lot but your support after his Christmas Eve post has given me the right combination of courage & rage to speak out. For the first time in this relationship I have power and that is YOU✨ My goal truly is for James to be well and for our son to know and respect his father. He had a major lapse in judgment. I will make sure he goes to therapy before reentering our sons life but if he does the work and I can forgive him so can you. I just want this behind us so we can focus on coparenting our amazing son. If you feel me please en lieu of 🤡 & 🤮 emojis as funny as they are please tell real_james_bergener #coparenting
I LOVE YOU. THANK YOU with all of my heart for helping me find my strength. Sending you and your 💓💓💓 #fightingformyson”
James seems to believe that he and Noella are already divorced since, according to him, the divorce went through in Puerto Rico on December 8, 2021. Noella disagrees because they never lived in Puerto Rico as a couple. She says she asked for a divorce settlement from him four months ago so she can buy a house for her, their son, and her daughter from a previous relationship, but he has refused to sign the $2 million settlement agreement. She argues that this settlement amount is low because while they were married they acquired an $8 million plane and a $14 million vacation house together.
She didn’t state if this was the same vacation house that they bought in Puerto Rico, where James may be staying now. According to Noella’s storyline on the show, she had wanted to sell this house in order to pay James’ secret $5.8 million tax debt, but he refused.
She also claims that James has been going in between Puerto Rico and California in order to do things like get Botox and shoot commercials, but has not seen his son during this time.