Real Housewives of Orange County star Noella Bergener has revealed she is back on the market and has returned to ‘sugar dating’ website Seeking, where she is now the newest ambassador.
Earlier this year the 36-year-old confirmed she was dating new boyfriend Bobby Schubenski following her messy divorce from husband James Bergener, with whom she shares a two-year-old son.
But the reality star on Thursday announced she is single once again and is now an active member of Seeking.com, previously known as SeekingArrangement, where she met her now former spouse.
Noella raised a few eyebrows and was accused of being a ‘gold digger’ from critics and even her own co-stars in April, when she made the bombshell revelation on-air during the RHOC reunion on Bravo with host Andy Cohen.
New partnership: Real Housewives of Orange County star Noella Bergener has revealed she is now the newest ambassador for former ‘sugar daddy’ website, Seeking
Ex: Noella, 36, drew judgment from her co-stars during the RHOC reunion in April, after revealing she met her now former husband, ‘Sweet James’ Bergener (pictured) on the website
However, it seems the mom-of-two is shrugging off the haters through her new partnership with the dating site that will also involve her new sex toy line.
Previously, Seeking, which was founded in 2006, had been known as an online platform where young, attractive women – or ‘sugar babies’ – could meet typically older, wealthy men – or ‘sugar daddies’ who could offer them financial assistance as part of a transactional relationship.
The website has since rebranded into a dating website where ‘attractive and successful people upgrade their lifestyles through open and honest relationships.’
As its newest brand representative and returning user, Noella told DailyMail.com she is encouraging single men and women to ‘date up.’
‘You can’t compare Seeking to a regular dating site, because it isn’t one. Seeking is a chance to empower yourself and to find what you’re actually looking for instead of going on another disaster date,’ she said.
The Real Housewife revealed her ‘first instinct’ was to go back on the website after she felt it was time to be ‘proactive and serious’ about dating after being left by her ex-husband last July.
‘I’m not the type of girl to just go to a bar, or have my orthodontist set me up,’ she told DailyMail.com.
‘It feels awkward when you’re not in control of the situation. With Seeking I find that I’m able to really empower myself to decide who I want.’
Noella said she was first introduced to the platform seven years ago after giving birth to her daughter from a previous relationship in 2015.
‘I hadn’t had sex in 18 months. I gave birth. I was breastfeeding. I was busy, you know?’ she admitted.
Online meeting: Noella told Bravo host Andy Cohen and her co-stars that she and James dated for five years and were married for one after meeting on SeekingArrangement
Together again: The season 16 reunion featured the cast of The Real Housewives Of Orange County and host Andy Cohen
Back then: Previously, Seeking, which was founded in 2006, had been known as an online platform where young, attractive women – or ‘sugar babies’ – could meet typically older, wealthy men – or ‘sugar daddies’ who could offer them financial assistance as part of a transaction relationship
‘I got to the point where I wasn’t gonna go to some bar and meet somebody. I wanted something where there’s a chance for a future – at least a connection.’
She would later learn one of her close friends had met her husband on Seeking and – having no prior experience with any dating app – the friend offered to create an account for her.
‘She set up my first profile and she contacted six different people and my (ex-) husband was one of them.
‘So now knowing that, how I got really lucky that first time without even trying. Imagine what will happen when I actually try,’ she laughed.
As for her critics and haters, Noella said she believes the criticism she has received is hypocrisy that stems from outdated dating culture norms.
‘Say a woman is proud to say she was set up on a blind date, that is virtually what online dating is these days.
‘I have enough courage to go out there [online] instead of asking my friend to set me up with a wealthy doctor.
‘It just feels like there’s a little bit of pot-calling-the-kettle-black going on there.
Rebrand: The website has since transitioned into a dating platform where ‘attractive and successful people upgrade their lifestyles through open and honest relationships’
Proud: Speaking at the launch of her partnership, Noella told DailyMail.com she is proud to represent the dating site and encourages singles to ‘date up’
Noella’s partnership with Seeking also means her new sex toy store, Playland, will be available exclusively to members of the dating site
‘Maybe I’m just a newer generation of it, but I hope that by being radically honest that it encourages some of these prim and proper, clutching-their-pearls types to maybe just let go of the damn pearls and put them somewhere else.’
And while she did get some backlash over the admission on the show’s reunion, Noella said she also received a slew of messages from closeted Seeking users who praised her for her bravery and honesty.
‘The bulk of the messages I got after it came out on the reunion were from people telling me they fell in love on Seeking, or they met their husband or their wife, or had the most amazing relationship in their adult life because of Seeking.
‘They were realizing it but also being secretive about it. It was a quiet DM (direct message) saying “please don’t say this to anyone.”‘
She continued: ‘So that’s my walk. My walk is to live in my authentic truth and try to be as possible and accountable as possible.
‘That’s not everyone’s journey, but I hope that we can get to that place where there’s less judgment and less stigma, about people who are doing the hard work to be honest.’
Noella drew judgmental remarks from co-stars during the first reunion of the Real Housewives of Orange County reunion.
Motherly love: Noella and James, 50, share a two-year-old son James Jr. and she also is mother to a seven-year-old daughter Coco from a previous relationship pictured November 25
Noella explained the couple dated for five years and were married for one before separating during the pandemic.
‘Anybody who’s out there said I cared about money or gold digging kind of thing,’ she said at the time.
‘You must have cared about money,’ host Andy Cohen said. ‘You met him (James Bergener) on a website that’s about attractive women meeting wealthy guys.’
‘That wasn’t in my mind when I wanted to build a family and love this man,’ Noella replied.
Noella’s partnership with Seeking also means her new sex toy store, Playland, will be available exclusively to members of the dating site, and she hopes to destigmatize sexual expression as ‘a proud bi-sexual, bi-racial woman.’