UPDATE: Over the weekend, we were all surprised when Laura Fleiss, wife of Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss, posted a series of tweets, publicly addressing the reports of domestic violence from this past summer for the first time.
In July, Laura Fleiss filed an emergency domestic violence restraining order against Mike after an incident in which she alleged he demanded she get an abortion, then physically assaulted her. Along with photos of her bruises, Laura made detailed statements about Mike’s verbally and sometimes physically abusive tendencies. According to her statements, this specific altercation turned violent when Mike took Laura’s phone, and she tried to chase after him.
After hearing all of this, you can imagine our reaction when, this Sunday, Laura Fleiss took to Twitter to basically say that none of that really happened. In a series of messages, she called reports of domestic violence “erroneous,” and instead acknowledged that “There was an emotionally charged incident in which we fought over a phone and both exhibited immature and irresponsible behavior. This situation led to making rash decisions we both regret…”
Over the summer, my husband and I went through a challenging time, as all marriages do. There was an emotionally charged incident in which we fought over a phone and both exhibited immature and irresponsible behavior. This situation led to making rash decisions we both regret…
— laura fleiss (@FleissLaura) November 3, 2019
However, I would like to correct the erroneous reporting that my husband intentionally tried to attack and hurt me. That is untrue. We both take full responsibility for our actions and have worked very hard to repair the damage to our relationship and family…
— laura fleiss (@FleissLaura) November 3, 2019
…and are working together with the help of a marriage counselor to rebuild what we lost. I love @fleissmeister and our kids very much. We appreciate your support at this time.
— laura fleiss (@FleissLaura) November 3, 2019
Umm, wow. Obviously, none of us were there on that night in July, but this is certainly a 180º turn from how Laura described the incident at the time. She says that they “both take full responsibility” for what happened, and that they’re now working with a marriage counselor to “rebuild what we lost.” What’s also disturbing is that Laura created her Twitter account in November, and seeing as it’s only November 4th, it basically means she created a Twitter JUST to tweet out these messages. And Mike is the only person she follows…
Mike also tweeted a similar message, after retweeting Laura’s tweets. He wrote, “Happy to report that @FleissLaura and I have reconciled. I love my wife and am grateful for this opportunity to work on our marriage… Thanks for the support, #BachelorNation!” This tweet is all kinds of disgusting, and the replies on Twitter are quick to point out how disturbing and creepy this whole Twitter cover-up is.
— Mike Fleiss (@fleissmeister) November 3, 2019
As much as I want to believe that everything is totally fine here, and that things over the summer were just blown out of proportion, I feel extremely nervous about this situation. Mike Fleiss is a man with a lot of money and power, and we’ve heard from other people that he’s not the best guy. According to loveisrespect.org, studies have shown that it can take victims of domestic abuse return to their abusers an average of seven times before leaving for good, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says that a victim is in the most danger when they decide to leave their abuser. Even though the Fleiss’s insist everything is fine, this entire situation is extremely concerning. We hope Laura has a strong support system in place, and that she and her child stay safe.
It seems like this season of The Bachelorette, all we’ve been hearing are stories about how the men vying for Hannah’s heart actually have a backup girlfriend back home in case
they get rejected their Flat Tummy Tea sponsorships don’t work out. First with Jed and his Nashville singer/songwriter Plan B, and then with Peter the Pilot and his hoes in other area codes. I would say “newsflash: men are trash” but can it really be a newsflash if this happens literally every day? But as it turns out, the biggest piece of trash to come out of The Bachelor franchise might not even be Jed, or Peter, or that one contestant who was actually a sex offender: it might be Mike Fleiss, the show’s creator.
Yesterday, Fleiss’ wife, Laura, filed for an emergency domestic violence restraining order after she claims her husband violently attacked her and then “demanded” she get an abortion over the July 4th weekend. She claims that in an altercation about her cell phone, Mike grabbed her body and “forcibly pinned me up against the wall and held me there.” After she broke free, she says he “continued to use his arms and hands to aggressively push me away from him as he walked outside the door.”
The incident, which allegedly took place in their Hawaii home, occurred while Laura was 10 weeks pregnant with their second child, AND she’s saying that the entire thing was caught on security cameras. If that’s not karmic payback for trying to fabricate a sexual assault on Bachelor in Paradise to boost ratings two seasons ago, then I don’t know what is!
In documents obtained by The Blast, Laura claims that prior to the July 4th incident, Fleiss threatened her with divorce if she didn’t get an abortion, and that he used the threat of divorce multiple times throughout the marriage. She claims that Mike told her things like “I am cutting you off financially Monday morning,” and “Next time I see you, I don’t want to see your stomach,” and “You have a choice, you can choose. Have an abortion or go back to Wisconsin, but you are not taking Ben .”
The former Miss Wisconsin and 2012 Miss America winner goes on to say:
“Over the past several years of our marriage, Mike has made many emotionally derogatory and demeaning comments designed to demonstrate his financial coercive control over me such as repeatedly insinuating that he would destroy me with his wealth and power. Within that last year, he has verbally abused me many times telling me that I am going to end up ‘fat and single in Kenosha, Wisconsin,’ with the usual follow-up comment of ‘Good luck with that.’ He consistently would call me ‘fat,’ telling me that I need to lose weight, and berate me as being ‘lazy’ and ‘incapable.’ He has made these comments in the presence of our son Ben… The continued verbal and emotional abuse have wreaked havoc on my self-esteem. I have spent time in therapy discussing the effects upon me of Mike’s demanding and denigrating comments.”
But ! The ! Tea ! Continues ! To ! Spill ! After a Los Angeles judge granted Laura a temporary restraining order against Mike, in which he can have no direct or indirect contact with her and must stay at least 100 yards away from her at all times, Mike filed his own declaration denying her claims and requesting primary custody of their 4-year-old son, Ben. He alleges that she was the aggressor and that she physically attacked him. So, let me get this straight. Even though Laura is the only one with documented injuries, she is somehow to blame for this entire incident? Seriously? What kind of a fool do you take us for, Mikey? Just because you can trick us into watching your show two hours a week every week doesn’t mean you can trick us into believing this!
Okay, so this is…a lot to unpack. Like, more to unpack than my feelings regarding Mark Consuelos being written in as a series regular on Riverdale. First and foremost, I’m glad Laura, her son, and unborn child are doing okay. Mike has been ordered to move out of their Hawaii home, which feels like a good first step in their healing process.
Secondly, I want to say I’m surprised that the man who makes millions off of manipulating American women into believing that people with 20K Insta followers are actually going on reality TV to “find love” and not a sponsorship deal would also be the kind of guy who threatens to punch his pregnant wife. Oh, wait. I mean I’m NOT surprised. AT ALL. What I am surprised about his how long it took for us to learn his true colors.
I’m not buying his “I’m the victim here” story for one f*cking second, and neither should you. The photos of Laura’s injuries and the footage of the alleged incident captured by the couple’s home security cameras are damning, to say the least. And even if there wasn’t documented evidence of the alleged assault, let’s not forget that this is a man who has willfully ignored toxic behavior of contestants and cast literal sex offenders, so why should his personal life be any different?
Stay tuned for more updates as the story unfolds because, trust me, there will be more tea to be spilled. Let’s see if Mike Fleiss will end up in a cell with Chris Soules, Lincoln Adim, or Amanda Stanton!
If you or someone you love is involved in a potentially violent domestic situation contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or online here.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy
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Hello, Bachelor fam, and welcome back to your regularly scheduled Bachelorette recap! Yes it’s the week of July 4th and, yes, ABC had the audacity to air a new episode right in the middle of my family’s vacation. It’s fine, I’m only having to stream the episode on my phone from a diner down the street because it had better WiFi. IT’S FINE.
Now, when last we left off, Luke, like a cockroach after the rapture, had somehow managed to survive yet another rose ceremony even though he’s apparently very short?? Someone pointed this out in the comments a few weeks back, and now I can’t unsee it. It presents a major flaw in my argument that the only reason Hannah likes him is because he’s tall. In fact, upon further inspection, it appears not only is he short but he’s entire heads shorter than the rest of the men:
Entire ! Heads ! Shorter !!!!
This realization is warping my sense of reality as I know it.
Which brings us to this week: Hannah and the men are set to leave Latvia and this feels like a win for them. It’s been almost three weeks of Latvia and I didn’t think we’d ever make it out of that godforsaken country. Good job, kids! We’re told that they’ll spend the final week before Hometowns in the Netherlands. I can only assume they chose this locale for the Instagrams and I support the shamelessness.
Jed’s One-On-One Date:
The first one-on-one date of the week goes to Jed and his burgeoning music career, which I’m sure he’ll bring up the first chance he can get. I hope trading your soul to Mike Fleiss for a few measly iTunes downloads was worth it, Jed!
TYLER: He didn’t bring his guitar did he?
HE DIDN’T BRING HIS GUITAR DID HE. I’m truly living for this new, petty side of Tyler. If I didn’t love him before, I certainly do now that he’s delivering more shade than my mother complimenting any one of my IG posts.
It’s unclear what the purpose of their date is other than to catch footage of them looking like assholes in the Netherlands. Seriously, what is the point of this date? There’s lots of skipping and far too many Annabelle-esque toys watching them from street corners for my liking.
The two come across a real live Dutch couple who seem both intrigued, and yet very alarmed by the reality TV show invading their homeland.
OLD WOMAN: Where are you from?
Jesus f*cking Christ. First of all, Jed, butchering the English language like that clearly makes you American! Second of all, do we think once this season is all said and done Jed will show up after filming rocking a British accent and acting like he’s the long-lost fifth member of The Beatles? Who wants to start taking bets now?
I love that this old woman is questioning Jed’s intentions. It’s nice to know at least one person in Hannah’s life isn’t falling for his singer/songwriter bullsh*t. She’s like “you love her, yes?” and Jed looks like he’s about to mention how he might be on tour soon and won’t have a lot of time for a relationship.
Jed tells Hannah he wishes she would “open up more” and I’m almost certain he’s talking about her legs. Jed, you little rascal! Also, I think it’s rich that he wants Hannah to be more vulnerable with him WHEN HE HAS ANOTHER GIRLFRIEND BACK HOME. Like, maybe you should open up about the fact that you’re a lying, cheating, McCheaterson mmkay?
His f*ckboy manipulation tactics are clearly paying off though because Hannah is still questioning herself during the cocktail portion of the date even though she’s the goddamn Bachelorette. In her interview aside Hannah is like “I know I need to own my feelings and that’s why I dressed like I’m about to win a debate in the primaries.” I paraphrase.
HANNAH: I knew I was falling for you when we were in that little market and you clicked your heels like that.
Ah, yes. How could you NOT fall in love with a stripper’s dance moves, amiright Hans?
Tyler’s One-On-One Date:
I’ll admit I didn’t watch most of the beginning of this date, because as far as I’m concerned Tyler is making it all the way to the end, and if he doesn’t then I’ll just be here waiting in
the wings his Instagram DMs. Either way, I’m not worried about him, and can’t fathom a man who says things like “I’ll take you at your highs and I’ll take you at your lows” not making it to Hometowns.
There’s just no way!
From what I gather, the two of them are also on a pointless date where they just wander around aimlessly in a foreign country. Look, if I wanted to watch Americans dry heave after eating foreign delicacies I would tune into CNN’s coverage of the President’s trip to North Korea.
Okay, they are talking with their faces very close together. Like, far too close together for two people who just ate slimy fish. Okay, what does Hannah want Tyler to say exactly? She’s like “I want you to explain in excruciating detail the ways in which you pine for me” but, like, he already said he’s into you, Hannah! What more do you want from him??
Despite all of this, Tyler gets the rose and will also be joining Jed next week in Hometowns. I just hope Hannah gets all her vaccines before heading to Florida!!!
Connor Gets The Boot
Meanwhile, the men find out that Mike is getting the third and final one-on-one date of the week, and Connor looks like someone just stole his favorite eraser. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, Connor has the energy of a 12-year-old boy with a crush on his babysitter. Nothing about him says “husband material,” and everything about him says “I spend all my free time doodling Mr. Hannah Brown into my diary.”
He knocks on Hannah’s door in what I guess is an attempt to carve out some one-on-one time with her, but it feels a little too late for that. Oh god, his voice is warbling like he might cry at any second and I can’t watch this moving trainwreck. I CAN’T. *turns up volume*
CONNOR: I don’t always stick out in a crowd but I want to stick out with you.
EVERY WOMAN IN AMERICA RN:
He keeps referencing their one-on-one date as the pivotal moment in their relationship and it’s like, kid, she literally tried to call out sick for it! Your sad handwritten Post-It notes meant nothing to her!
Hannah finally bites the bullet and sends Connor home—she doesn’t even wait for the group date. Savage. I do love that he was politely salty on his way out, (or as salty as a grown man wearing Sperrys and capri pants could possibly be). She’s like “I needed more time with you” and he’s like “yeah no shit…that’s why I showed up at your door to roast you about not giving me a one-on-one.”
Oh, Connor. Maybe you can share your favorite eraser with someone in Paradise. Keep your chin up, little buddy!
Mike’s One-On-One Date:
Of course the Bachelorette producers would send Hannah and Mike to The Hague, where they can dry hump in the very spot where global peace was once brokered. HAVE THEY NO SHAME? And since their shamelessness knows no bounds, they send Mike and Hannah to visit a Dutch artist for their date. They are instructed to paint each other and DEAR GOD if I have to witness another Carly/Evan body painting nightmare I will f*cking scream.
Okay, Mike is taking this painting activity way too seriously. He’s critiquing Hannah’s drawing of him as if his own work does not resemble the monster from Bird Box. Why do I have a feeling that Mike is the type of guy who considers it a good time to frequently visit Wine and Design and then critique the instructor?
MIKE: I love art
Mike tells Hannah that he sees her as his future wife and she visibly cringes. This doesn’t bode well for the rest of their date. Tbh I don’t see their connection at all. I mean, Mike is pulling out all the stops with her and she just doesn’t seem into it.
Cut to the evening portion of the date, where Hannah is patrolling the halls of the art museum and trying not to snot all over the priceless art pieces she’s sobbing so hard. Hannah’s gazing up at The Girl With The Pearl Earring as if the art is moving her and those aren’t tears of panic brought on by the thought of spending the rest of her life with a guy who calls her “queen” every other time he sees her.
Hannah shows up to the cocktail portion still sniveling, and it’s not looking good for Mike. Then again, Hannah is always crying at cocktail parties so maybe he thinks she’s just drunk again. It would be a fair assumption. Though she’s dressed like she’s headed to an enemy’s funeral, so that should really be a dead giveaway as to where this evening is going.
HANNAH: It’s over, Mike.
MIKE: I don’t know what to say except…thank you.
THANK YOU?! Did Mike seriously just thank Hannah for this experience? Wowwww. The devil works hard, but Mike is working harder for his spot as Bachelor 2020. Good luck with the campaigning, buddy!
The Group Date:
With Mike and Connor both eliminated, that leaves two roses up for grabs on the group date with Peter The Pilot, Garrett, and Luke. Once again, there appears to be no theme or planned activity for the date, just a discarded cheese plate and stilted conversations. It’s almost as if verbally sparring with Luke is the planned activity and whoever makes it out alive gets to go to Hometowns. May the odds be ever in your favor, boys!
Speaking of which, Luke starts things off by tattling on Garrett to Hannah and it’s like HOW can she possibly still want to sleep with him after this? To phrase it in Hannah’s own words: it is BEFUMBLING to me how he can continue to advance week after week. I feel like their conversations are similar to ones I’ve had moderating a fight between my two friends in seventh grade when they couldn’t agree on if they were Team Lindsay Lohan or Team Hilary Duff during the Aaron Carter debacle.
And you know what? Garrett isn’t really any better. I originally thought he’d go pretty far since he’s 1) hot and 2) also from Alabama, but I find him to be equally as psychotic. He’s getting way too much joy out of this drama with Luke when he should be focusing on Hannah.
Okay, this entire fight has to be scripted. These are not real words humans from earth say to each other. Case in point: no one says bologna that much.
Meanwhile, Peter is out here using all of the pilot lines in his arsenal. And you know what? It’s WORKING FOR ME. Even though Peter has definitely slept with 500 women and probably has his own version of the Derek Jeter “thank you for sex” gift basket (but it has like a little pair of wings in it and some mini bags of pretzels), he’s still coming out on top compared with these two psychos.
It works for Hannah too because she gives him a rose, which means now we’re down to Luke and Garrett. Luke pulls has one last card up his sleeve, and it’s the Jesus in the shower thing.
Hannah is nodding her head along to this story as if Luke isn’t literally describing having an orgasm in the shower. He saying things like “then I just let go” and “this is heaven” and it’s like WE GET IT, WEIRDO, YOU WERE JERKING OFF IN THE SHOWER.
Garrett takes the opposite route by regurgitating word-for-word speeches of past years about falling in love, but I feel nothing when he speaks. Like, he could be listing his grocery list for how impassioned this sounds.
It’s time to give out the final rose and Hannah looks distressed at her two choices. Perhaps she should consult her art again. She says she has to “go with her heart” which I guess means the man with a steroid addiction because Luke is the last guy going to Hometowns!
And on that note, I’m outtie betches! While it’s been fun furiously recapping on stolen diner WiFi, our time together has come to an end. See you next week for Hometowns!
Images: ABC; Giphy (4); @luke_parker777 /Instagram (1); @bacheloretteabc /Instagram (1)