The Bachelor host Chris Harrison splits from wife Gwen Jones

Chris Harrison with wife Gwen Jones in 2011

ABC’s hit romantic reality franchises The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are no stranger to “promoting from within” as their stars are often chosen from cast members of the other. But, ABC may not have to look to Emily Maynard’s castaways for Ben Flajnik’s successor because they have another perfect candidate from both shows – host Chris Harrison!

In Touch is reporting the 40-year-old host and his wife of 19 years, Gwen Jones, split a while back. “They are still really close and remain the best of friends,” an insider tells the tabloid. “They’ve been taking turns with their kids so they can both see them as much as possible. It has been really amicable, with no other parties involved, and Chris has been a total professional while filming The Bachelorette.”

The news comes just over two years after The Bachelor contestant Rozlyn Papa suggested Harrison hit on a wife on one of the show’s producers during “The Bachelor: The Women Tell All” special. Papa had infamously been asked to leave the show after she allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with producer Ryan Callahan, and Harrison pointed out that the producer was one of his dear friends. Rozlyn Papa surprised everyone when she responded by saying, “That’s news to him, especially when you were hitting on his wife in New Zealand. He thought that was crazy.”

“I won’t dignify that with a response,” Harrison responded. “I hope you will become a better person through this.”

Rozlyn Papa
^ Rozlyn Papa modeling photo

He told Entertainment Weekly the next day, “Beyond the fact that it’s just flat out not true, that comment was well beyond the line of decency and speaks volumes to the kind of person Rozlyn is. My wife, who I’ve been with since I was 18 and have been married to for over 16 years, was in the audience that night and got as big a laugh out of Rozlyn’s comment as I did.”

Chris and Gwen were college sweethearts and they share two young children together – son Joshua and daughter Taylor. (According to an interview in People magazine in September of 2010, Joshua was 8 at the time and Taylor was 6.)

Season 8 of The Bachelorette with Emily Maynard is set to premiere on ABC May14 – you can check out all the guys competing for her hand HERE and HERE!

Top photo: Chris Harrison and wife Gwen Jones at the 2011 Entertainment Weekly And Women In Film Pre-Emmy Party Sponsored By L’Oreal held at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood, California on September 16, 2011. (Credit: FayesVision/