Jerry Seinfeld: homewrecker?

By Kim Palacios Before agreeing to be featured on “The Marriage Ref,” Howie Kohlenberg’s problems were few. Barring mild financial troubles and the occasional marital woe, Kohlenberg was happy with his wife, Christine. He thought Christine was happy, too; so, why did the couple recently file for divorce? According to Mr. Kohlenberg (via a New York Post interview), his wife changed after their appearance on “The Marriage Ref”—and it’s all Jerry Seinfeld’s fault.

Though Seinfeld was a judge on the episode in which the Kohlenbergs’ story aired, he is also a producer and co-creator of the “Marriage Ref” franchise. And it is the producers, and the show at large, which Kohlenberg blames for his wife leaving he and their 4 ½ year old son.

“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 [Christine’s] lips looked great, and all of a sudden she was getting a lot of Botox…We almost got kicked off the show because she was putting racy photos on Facebook. “

To those who would argue that participating a show about marital problems might already signal trouble, Kohlenberg admitted that the marriage wasn’t “perfect” but maintained that “The Marriage Ref” experience “took it in a whole new direction.” Said Kohlenberg, “It was the nail in the coffin.”

After the show aired, Mrs. Kohlenberg flew to Los Angeles, played a minor role in an indie comedy and left her husband for a Canadian producer. Since then she has filmed a pilot for a New York-based reality show, “Shopaholics.” She has not returned to her family (indeed, the couple divorced) and she was not available for comment.

“We did it to drum up some business,” Kohlenberg said. “They promised to promote [our] spa on air. They didn’t…Everybody thinks reality shows are glamorous — you’re going to get rich, and it’s going to be the next ‘Jersey Shore,’ ” continued Kohlenberg. “They make you jump through hoops, the bottom line is they don’t give a s*it. You’re just another number.”

Photo Credit: NBC

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About Kim Palacios

Kim Palacios is a San Francisco Bay Area transplant whose epicurean tendencies are matched only by her wanderlust. While not covering food, wine, and luxury travel for her column on, she guest writes for Travel Writers Exchange and a number of other varied-topic blogs. She is quadrilingual and holds an M.B.A. in Finance (neither of which she uses much these days). While not mourning the death of free markets and grumbling about the tax treatment of Californians, she enjoys film, and all things Twilight.

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