Warner Bros. is officially investigating Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss after his wife, Laura Kaepeller Fleiss, alleged he physically assaulted her at their home in Kauai, Hawaii, on July 6. Entertainment Tonight reports that a temporary restraining order has been granted for Laura and Benjamin, the estranged couple’s son. She’s also pregnant with their second child, a fact that she claims “enraged” Fleiss. In the court filings obtained by ET, she spoke on the state of her marriage and the events precipitating the alleged assault:
“[He] repeatedly told me throughout our marriage, and prior to our marriage, that he knew he would have to have one child with me because I was 26 years old when we got married, did not yet have any children, and he knew I wanted to have a family. Mike, however, being 55 years old, did not want to have more than one child together. [...] Prior to July 4th, Mike threatened me that if I did not have an abortion, he would end the marriage. This was not the first time he had threatened a divorce during our marriage, but now, he was using this threat as leverage to force me to have an abortion.
His alleged verbal abuses turned physically violent, says Kaepeller Fleiss, on July 6. She was at home with their son, who was sick, when Fleiss “forcefully” took her cellphone. His intent, she claims, was to leave her stranded at the property with no way to contact a hospital or the authorities. When she went to follow him, she says he threatened to push her down a flight of stairs. She continued begging for her cellphone back until, as she claims:
“He grabbed my body, forcibly pinned me up against the wall, and held me there. After I broke free, he continued to use his arms and hands to aggressively push me away from him as he walked outside the door. Then he walked toward the pickup truck parked outside in our driveway shouting “I’m going to punch your face in.”
ET further reports that Laura got in contact with a neighbor who drove her to the safety of a friend’s house. The same friend then accompanied her to a police station, where she filed the report. As there were security cameras lining the property, she included photographs allegedly documenting the assault in her filings. In the wake of the restraining order, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. claimed they are “aware of these serious allegations, and are looking into them.” Fleiss, meanwhile, denied the allegations completely: “I have not hurt, attacked, or attempted to physically harm Laura or our child.”
The news also comes after Fleiss and ABC came under scrutiny last year when it was revealed that two contestants on The Proposal has assaulted women before joining the show’s cast. At the time, Fleiss claimed he was “horrified that any of these abusive assholes are on our show.” Lifetime’s unReal (which was purportedly based on true events from the Bachelor set) also had a plotline involving Chet, the Fleiss stand-in, losing custody of his son for reckless endangerment; in another plotline, the fictional producers of unReal also fielded intense scrutiny for bringing a rapist into the ‘Everlasting’ mansion.
Warner Bros.’s investigation is ongoing.