Bachelor Creator Mike Fleiss Responds to Wife's Abuse Allegations, Claims She 'Physically Attacked' Him
The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss is denying his estranged wife’s abuse allegations while also claiming that she “physically attacked” him during an alleged argument.
On Tuesday, Mike’s pregnant wife Laura Fleiss (née Kaeppeler) — a former Miss Wisconsin who was crowned Miss America in 2012 — filed for an emergency domestic violence restraining order after she claims he physically attacked her and “demanded” she get an abortion over the July 4 weekend in Hawaii, according to her declaration obtained by The Blast.
Following her filing, Mike — who recently filed for divorce — filed his own declaration, in which he denied Laura’s claims and requested primary custody of their 4-year-old son, Ben.
“I have not hurt, attacked, or attempted to physically harm Laura or our child, Benjamin Fleiss ‘Ben,’ in any way,” Mike, 55, states in his declaration, according to court documents obtained by The Blast.
PEOPLE is out to Warner Bros., which represents Mike, for comment.
He goes on to allege that on July 6, “Laura was the aggressor during the incident and physically attacked me. I tried to get away from her as she was chasing me and hitting me. I have security footage from our home that shows the incident, which the Court can review.”
“After the incident, Laura was initially remorseful. I was leaving Hawaii for work commitments in Los Angeles. I spent time with Ben at the house in Hawaii prior to leaving for Los Angeles. A few days after the incident, Laura stopped all communication with me,” he alleges. “I don’t know where Ben is and I want custody of him because of Laura’s instability.”
“I am asking that the Court deny Laura’s request for a restraining order because she was the perpetrator, not the victim,” he alleges. “I further request that Laura be ordered to immediately return our son Ben to Los Angeles, and for me to have primary custody.”
He claims in the documents that the pair started seeing a marital counselor in early 2019, and “one of the primary issues was Laura’s desire to have another baby.”
“I did not want to have another child as Laura had issues with emotional stability and had a difficult time caring for Ben when he was a baby,” he alleges. He says that “now that Ben is older, things had just started to be easier and I wanted to focus on moving forward. After several months of counseling, we agreed that we would not have another child and Laura told me she had started using the NuvaRing for birth control.”
“On Father’s Day, Laura told me that she was eight weeks pregnant,” he alleges. “When I questioned her about the birth control she said birth control is not always effective.”
Mike alleges in the documents that “though I was upset about Laura’s lie, I started to get excited about the new baby and our life together. We started talking about when the baby’s birthday would be and possible baby names.”
He further alleges that on July 3, he learned “that Laura had been lying to me about having a baby and that she was never on birth control. I also learned that she lied to me in order to get pregnant so she could have another baby even though we had agreed not to.”
The TV mogul claims that on July 3, Laura, 31, “admitted that she has been lying to me” and that “over the course of a few days, Laura sent me text messages telling me that she was sorry that this happened, admitting dishonesty, and telling me that she was looking up emotional health rehabilitation facilities to get her the help she needs.”
Come July 6, Mike alleges that that pair was in their upstairs guest bedroom, where he “told Laura that the only way I could continue in the marriage is if she was honest with me and asked her again to see the phone.”
He claims that when she wouldn’t give him the phone, he “took it out of her hand. She immediately attacked me and so I ran out of the bedroom, down the stairs, and out of the house to my car.”
He further alleges that “the entire time I was running out of the house and to the car, she was pounding on me with her fists, jumping on my back, and attacking me trying to get the phone back. I kept telling her to get away from me. As I ran down the narrow staircase of the house, she was pounding on me so hard that the side of my head was slammed against the wall. Once I stepped outside the house, she continued to follow me, screaming and attacking me.”
Mike claims that he put his arms up in an attempt to protect himself before he got to his truck, where “she continued to pursue me and actually climbed in the driver’s side of the truck continuing to attack me and try and pull her phone out of the truck. I very slowly started to back out to see if she would leave the truck. I did not want this aggressive encounter to continue any longer and did not want her to hurt herself or the baby. Eventually, she jumped back out of the truck and I was able to drive away.”
After the alleged incident, on July 7, Mike claims that he “contacted the security company for the Hawaii house to obtain footage from the time of the incident. They informed me at that time that Laura had already been in contact with them about the footage. I believe she was trying to have it deleted,” he claims. “I was able to obtain the security footage from the Hawaii house to show the incident once I ran out of the house and Laura followed me, continuing to attack me.”
Mike claims he “was shaken up by this incident and very concerned for Laura’s mental and emotional well-being,” and that he “immediately called her friend” and asked her to visit Laura at the house. He claims her also “texted Laura’s father” to let him know his concerns.
He also alleges he called his friend and “asked that he take Laura’s phone and drive it back to the house and drop it off. He left the phone on the kitchen counter for Laura that same day.” Mike alleges that he then contacted Laura’s friend “that evening because Laura was not respond to me,” and the friend stated that Laura “was with her and that she was fine.” Mike claims that he “made arrangements” through Laura’s friend “to see Ben the next day.”
Mike claims that Laura and her friend “brought Ben home so that I could spend time with him” before he flew to Los Angeles on July 8. “Laura agreed that we would all meet at the house at 9:00 a.m. the next morning so that I could spend time with Ben,” Mike claims.
On July 7, after arriving around 8:15 a.m. at the house with his friend, Mike claims that “no one was at the house when I arrived” and Laura’s friend said that because “Ben was sleeping late,” they wouldn’t be on time.
At 11:30 a.m. that day, Mike claims Laura and Ben arrived with her friend. “I spent the next few hours playing with Ben in the yard. I kissed him goodbye, told him I would see him soon in Los Angeles, and left,” Mike claims. “While I was there, I did not say much to Laura and we did not discuss her attack of me from the day before. There was no incident, it was a peaceful afternoon. I flew back to Los Angeles the next day.”
“Three days later, Laura informed me on July 9, 2019, that she had called the police and filed a police report,” he claims in the documents. “I have not seen the report and the police never contacted me.”
As of July 9, Mike alleges that Laura has “ceased all contact with me despite my numerous attempts to speak to, FaceTime with, or see Ben. I have no idea where she or Ben are.”
He claims that he has “not had contact with our son in nine days. The last time I saw or spoke to him was at the Hawaii house on July 7, 2019. Due to Laura’s historical emotional instability, I am concerned about her and our son while in her care.”
But in her own declaration, filed first, Laura shared her own side of the story and claims that on July 4, “While we were at our house in Kauai, Mike demanded that I get an abortion.”
According to the documents, filed in court by attorneys Samantha Spector and Lisa Meyer, Laura said that she is “approximately 10 weeks pregnant.”
“Our son Ben was in the house, seated in another room nearby,” Laura alleges in the documents. “Mike told me, ‘If you have an abortion, then we can just go back to the way we were.’ “
“Prior to July 4th, Mike threatened me that if I did not have an abortion, he would end the marriage,” she claims in the documents. “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. In addition, on July 4th, Mike made the following statements to me: ‘I am cutting you off financially Monday morning’; ‘You are paying for everything with your money’; ‘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.’ “
“He continued to threaten me, demanding to see bank statements showing I paid for an abortion and the flight information to and from Oahu for the medical procedure,” she alleges in the documents.
Laura claims in the documents that “while Mike has frequently been verbally abusive towards me during our marriage, in recent weeks, he has become enraged, due to the fact I am pregnant with our second child.”
“Mike told me many times that he did not want us to have a second child. He also 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,” she says in the documents. “Mike, however, being 55-years old, did not want to have more than one child together.”
On July 5, Laura alleges that “Mike was even more angry than he was on July 4th.” She claims that day that she asked a friend to come and stay with her and Ben at the home as Mike was staying at another one of their homes in Hawaii. The next day, on July 6, Laura claims Mike returned and “angrily entered Ben’s bedroom looking for my cellphone.”
She asserts that Mike “forcibly grabbed my phone out of my hands” and then “exited the bedroom, and rushed to the top of the stairs.”
She followed him in an attempt to get her cell phone back, she claims in the documents, “and he yelled that he was going to ‘shove me down the stairs.’ ” As he descended the stairs, Laura followed, she alleges.
But “just before we got outside of the front door, 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, still not returning my phone. Then he walked towards his pick-up truck parked outside in our driveway, shouting ‘I’m going to punch your face in,’ ” she claims in the documents.
As he entered the truck, Laura claims she was “pleading with him not to leave me and Ben at the house without access to my phone” as she “stood on the outside running board/footstep directly below the driver-side door.” She alleges that Mike proceeded to “put the truck in reverse and began to back up, and firmly said, ‘You’re f—–ed.’ He then stopped the car suddenly, which nearly made me fall off the running board and caused the swinging door to almost close on me. At this point, Mike forcefully shoved me off of the running board, closed the car door and drove away with my cellphone in his possession.”
“I was extremely traumatized from the incident and started crying hysterically,” she claims in the documents. “Our unborn child and I could have been severely injured if I had fallen off the truck’s running board or run over the wheels of the truck.”
Laura then says she “began to scream for help” and a neighbor across the street responded and proceeded to call police before driving her and Ben to a “nearby friend’s house.” The friend then drove her to the police station, where she spoke to an officer about the alleged incident.
On July 6 and 7, Laura took photographs of her injuries from the alleged incident, which captured “bruises on the inside of my arm, a scratch on my neck, and a large tear in the dress that I was wearing on July 6th, all of which were caused by Mike’s violent behavior on July 6th.”
Days later, Laura says that “on Monday, July 8th, I went to my OBGYN to make sure our unborn baby was in good health and to otherwise check the injuries I had suffered.”
She alleges, “I am afraid of Mike. I am afraid he will continue to act erratically towards me, verbally and physically, and in the presence of Ben. I have been hiding in a hotel for the past several days with Ben, and want to be able to return home without fear for myself, my son and my unborn child.”
In addition, Laura claims that “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” and that she has “spent time in therapy discussing the effects upon me of Mike’s demanding and denigrating comments.”
Laura’s filing comes nearly a week after Mike filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, according to court documents obtained by The Blast. The filing lists their separation date as July 7 and also states that Mike has a prenuptial agreement with Laura.
According to Laura’s declaration, she states that on July 10, she “learned through the media” about Mike’s divorce filing.
Meanwhile, Mike alleges in his declaration that he “informed Laura before the filing since I knew it would be picked up in the press and wanted her to hear it from me first. Laura did not respond to me.”
The pair met in 2012 when she was a participant in the Miss America pageant and he was a judge, Laura states in her declaration.
They wed on April 6, 2014 at his Malibu home in a ceremony officiated by the show’s host, Chris Harrison.
In addition to The Bachelor, Fleiss is the creator of spin-offs The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelor Winter Games.
If you suspect domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
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