On this week’s The Real Housewives of Orange County, Noella Bergener took center stage in a very sad way.
Her husband, “Sweet James,” ghosted Noella and filed for divorce, taking her totally by surprise.
He had fled to Puerto Rico, which was very conspicuously also the place where the couple had purchased a house that he refused to sell.
Noella is still processing this betrayal, but fans are searching for explanations. One possibility in particular comes to mind.
Earlier on Season 16, Episode 3, Noella was much more conversation about the multimillion dollar tax debt.
Yes, a $5.8 million debt is scary, but her real issue was that her husband, “Sweet James” Bergener, had kept it a secret for an entire year of marriage.
In fact, Noella was puzzled as to why James stopped her from selling their recently purchased property.
According to Noella, they had purchased a house in Puerto Rico just seven months earlier, so it had no sentimental value.
After receiving a generous offer, the sale of it could have made this surprising and upsetting debt disappear overnight.
It was baffling that her husband would hold on to the pricey property without even telling her why.
Noella was dedicated to working things out.
She said that divorce wasn’t “even on the table” for her and James.
They were in a rough patch, with her having slept in the couple’s sex dungeon instead of in their marital bed due to the disagreements.
Noella and James were soon separated by much more than a few walls.
Over video chat, a devastated Noella told Shannon Beador that she had been served with divorce papers.
The filing had been made in Puerto Rico — with the papers in Spanish. Her nanny had translated them for her.
James’ clothes were still at home. His car. His life — not to mention his wife and child.
In a sinister twist, he had cut off all of the family’s credit cards.
Having controlled their finances, this meant that Noella was effectively cut off from any money for herself or their child.
“He made an error, and he needs to repair it,” Noella told Shannon.
“But,” she lamented, “I never thought that this would be the end of our marriage.”
Crying, Noella continued: “I never thought that would mean that I’m a single mom with our son.”
“I just want my husband back,” Noella sobbed. “I want him to come and tell me what the hell’s going on.”
“I’m lost,” she told the confessional camera. “I’m completely lost. I don’t know what to do.”
She expressed: “I don’t know what to think. It’s a bad dream. It’s a really, really bad dream.”
Naturally, Shannon and Gina wanted to know if James had any ties to Puerto Rico that would explain why he would go there.
Such ties might also explain why he would obsessively refuse to sell the house even if it could mean solving their problems instantly.
Noella noted that he was an ex-Mormon from Utah, so no — she couldn’t explain any of this.
Viewers can’t explain it either, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation.
One very logical explanation would be if James intended for the multimillion dollar house in Puerto Rico be a love shack for an extramarital affair.
Though his debts go back to years before the marriage, fans wonder if he has been secretly funneling money to a side piece all along.
Some fan theories took it further, suggesting that the side piece was a man or that there was an entire secret family in the picture.
That is a little far-fetched and, while possible, totally unsupported by any evidence.
Still, Noella could use a little imagination herself as she struggles to solve the puzzle that has turned her entire life upside down.