Who is Noella Bergener? 'Real Housewives of Orange County' gets a new member

Season 16 is off to an interesting start, and Noella Bergener, 'Real Housewives of Orange County' rookie, is responsible

Noella Bergener Real Housewives of Orange County cast member head shot
(Image credit: Noella Bergener)

Noella Bergener, Real Housewives of Orange County newbie, has made a memorable entrance on her series debut. Although there is no guarantee, we're fairly certain she and her costars will keep things interesting well into the 16th season.  

If you're caught up with the shenanigans from the Caribbean (The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip), might we suggest a visit to Cali? There are cast shakeups that will make you feel as though you're whooping it up in a whole new town. Allow us to introduce you to this OC rookie. 

Who is Noella Bergener, 'Real Housewives of Orange County' newcomer?

The former model is the mother to two children, a 2-year-old named James and a daughter from a past relationship. 

On Bergener's Instagram, we get a sneak peek at her family and travels, and very candid feelings about her marital struggles. Upon joining the RHOC as its first Black cast member, she claims she wants to embrace the imperfection and be honest about what's happening in her life. 

In the season 16 trailer, we learn she is forthright about her sexuality, as we hear her admitting to someone she just met at a party that she is bisexual. 

Noella Bergener age: how old is she?

Bergener is one of the younger cast mates on this season of The Real Housewives of Orange County. Born on June 14, 1985, she is 36 years old. 

Noella Bergener divorce: is she still married?

Although Bergener first turned heads on the season 16 premiere for admitting that she and her husband James have a sex dungeon—an interesting revelation when you're having lunch with Heather Dubrow—it turns out that her marriage is not on solid foundation.

James, who controls all of the family's finances, was reportedly in up to $6 million in debt for a second home he purchased in Puerto Rico. Money issues seem to be the tip of the iceberg: unfortunately, Bergener was forced to cope with her son's autism diagnosis and her mother's hospital stint earlier this year. 

Then, as we learn towards the end of the episode, James has filed for a divorce. 

"He made an error and he needs to repair it, but I never thought that this would be the end of our marriage," Bergener reveals to Shannon Beador, her closest ally on the show. "And I never thought that that would mean that I'm a single mom with our son."

James has a slightly different side of the story; he claims his wife changed upon joining the RHOC cast—something he aired publicly on social media during the holidays. 

"As filming got closer and closer, though, she changed. Her sole focus became the show. We rarely spoke, and when we did, we’d end up in fights," he said on Instagram. 

In a nearly 3-minute video (below), he clears up "misstatements" about his divorce.

Who is Noella Bergener dating now?

Since Bergener alleges that her husband has left without a trace, she has seemingly decided to move on. She's revealed on the US Weekly podcast, Getting Real with the Housewives, that she's slowly starting to dip her toes back in the dating pool...starting with a mutual friend she shared with her ex. 

"I have an amazing friend, but right now, we’re friends who kiss," she said of the budding romance.

Overall, this new relationship stemmed from her friend's willingness to step in when things got tough for the RHOC rookie.

"He was one of those that just constantly checked in on me," she added.

Watch the 'RHOC' season 16 trailer:

Buckle up, folks. As you might've imagined, there's plenty to unpack in the 16th season's trailer. We have newbies—Bergener and Jennifer Armstrong—the return of the elegant Heather Dubrow and, of course, a few disagreements here and there.

We also get a taste of the girls' trip to the better coast when they hit NYC and a tropical island. Of course, the trips don't appear to go as smoothly as one would hope. 

What did we tell you? There's a lot going on. Stay up-to-date on the OC's new friend group on Wednesdays on Bravo.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.