'Bachelor' creator Mike Fleiss accused of abusing pregnant wife, demanding she get abortion

Bill Keveney
Mike Fleiss, seen in 2014, is the hugely successful producer behind ABC's 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette' franchises.

Mike Fleiss, the man behind a TV dating show empire designed to bring couples together, is being accused of domestic violence by his pregnant wife, Laura. 

A Los Angeles judge Tuesday granted Laura Fleiss' request for a temporary restraining order against her husband, the creator of ABC's "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." 

In court documents obtained by USA TODAY, Laura Fleiss accuses her husband of demanding that she get an abortion earlier this month and later grabbing her and pinning her against a wall in a fight over her cellphone. She said she learned last week that her husband, who she claims does not want another child, had filed for divorce.

Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss, 31, the 2012 Miss America, and Mike Fleiss, 55, married in 2014. They have a four-year-old son, Benjamin. The Fleiss legal matter was first reported by The Blast.  

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The temporary order, which is in effect until an Aug. 6 court hearing, prohibits Mike Fleiss from contacting his wife or going within 100 yards of her or her home.

In a statement, Warner Bros., the producing studio for "The Bachelor" franchise, said: "We are aware of these serious allegations, and are looking into them." A lawyer for Fleiss did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

In a legal declaration dated Monday, filed in support of the restraining-order request, Laura Fleiss, who says she is 10 weeks pregnant, claims her husband, whom she calls verbal abusive during their marriage, became "enraged" about her pregnancy. 

When they were at their home on the Hawaiian island of Kauai on July 4, she says Mike Fleiss demanded she get an abortion and said he would divorce her if she didn't. She says he also threatened to cut her off financially and told her: "Next time I see you, I don't want to see your stomach."  

The verbal abuse escalated on July 5, she says, claiming Mike Fleiss called her "a low-rent gold digger," "a $50,000 whore" and other unprintable names. A day later, she says there was a physical altercation, as Mike Fleiss grabbed her cellphone and threatened to push her down the stairs. When she tried to get her phone back, "he grabbed my body, forcibly pushed me up against the wall and held me there."

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In her filing, Laura Fleiss included photos from the house surveillance system that she says show her husband pushing her as they struggle outside. (She included photos taken later that she says show bruises on her arm, a scratch on her neck and a tear in her dress, all allegedly resulting from her husband's violent behavior on July 6.)

As Mike Fleiss prepared to leave in his truck, with her cellphone in his possession, his wife says she stood on the passenger-side running board, nearly falling off when she says he backed up the truck and then quickly braked. He then "forcefully shoved me off the running board" and drove away, she says.

Laura Fleiss says she went to a friend's house with her son and then spoke to police, but didn't ask for a protective order at the time, because she feared that might further incite her husband. She saw a doctor on July 8 to check on the health of her unborn child.

In asking for the restraining order, Laura Fleiss says she fears her husband, who she says is six-foot-four and weighs 220 pounds, and had been "hiding" in a hotel with her son for several days.

"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," she stated.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Bachelor' creator Mike Fleiss accused of domestic violence by wife