'Jerry Seinfeld ruined my life'

Divorce after Marriage Ref appearance

A New Yorker has blamed Jerry Seinfeld for his divorce – after an appearance on the comedian’s reality show The Marriage Ref caused a rift between him and his wife.

The show - which ITV1 has remade with Dermot O’Leary – is supposed to help settle marital rows but Howie Kohlenberg says it was the final nail in the coffin of their 14-year union.

He and his wife Christine appered on the very first American episode last year, where the panel of Seinfeld, Eva Longoria and Tina Fey heard how they argued because he took his wedding ring off when playing basketball.

But 47-year-old Kohlenberg claims appearing on the show gave Christine, who is ten years his junior, ideas about becoming a star.

Calling Seinfeld ‘Mr Billionaire’, the cosmetics salesman told the New York Post: ‘The headline should read, “Jerry Seinfeld ruined my life: the danger of reality show.”’

He added: ‘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. Now she's getting this huge head. She had all these ideas that “I have to live my life and be an actress.”

‘Everybody thinks reality shows are glamorous - you're going to get rich, and it's going to be the next Jersey Shore. They make you jump through hoops, the bottom line is they don't give a shit. You're just another number.

‘I'm not saying our marriage was perfect, but it put it in a whole new direction. It was the nail in the coffin.

But speaking to rival paper the New York Daily News, Seinfeld laughed off Kohlenberg’s claims.

‘I love it, I love, I love it!.’ he said. ‘When people get upset I enjoy it, That he's having problems, and blaming me, it's all.... Anything that alleviates the withering, blithering boredom of existence I'm in favour of.’

Published: 27 Jun 2011

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