Divorced Howie Kohlenberg says the show ruined his life after he and then wife Christine were convinced to make money by appearing on it
Howie Kohlenberg claims he has become a victim of reality show. The 47-year-old, who appeared in an episode of "The Marriage Ref", says his marriage with Christine was torn apart after they took part in the reality show produced by Jerry Seinfeld.
"The headline should read, 'Jerry Seinfeld ruined my life: the danger of reality shows'," Kohlenberg tells New York Post as he opens up about his marriage breakdown. He points out that his ex-wife started to be obsessed with becoming a star and ditched him as well as their 4-year-old son after she experienced 15 minutes of fame during the show's premiere in March 2010 which featured Seinfeld, Eva Longoria and Tina Fey on the celebrity panel.
Kohlenberg says he and Christine did the show to "drum up some business", which also became the issue in their arguments. But instead of highlighting this problem, producers wanted the then couple to discuss why he took off his wedding ring when he played basketball, which "wasn't necessarily a true angle because she really didn't care" if he took it off or not.
Since people behind the show kept telling them that they were going to be famous, Christine "had all these ideas that 'I have to live my life and be an actress'," said Kohlenberg who admitted his marriage was not perfect.
After their episode aired, Christine flew to Los Angeles where she starred as a pool girl in indie comedy film "Chakra Love". There she met a producer from Canada and went to live with him. Christine also appeared in a New York-based reality pilot, "Shopaholics". Kohlenberg said he pleaded in vain for her return.
"Everybody thinks reality shows are glamorous - you're going to get rich, and it's going to be the next 'Jersey Shore'," Kohlenberg said. "They make you jump through hoops, the bottom line is they don't give a s**t. You're just another number."
A publicist for Seinfeld said, "We are going to respectfully decline comment," while Christine could not be contacted for comment.