Bar Rescue fans may not get to see much of Nicole Taffer, but the wife of star Jon Taffer has had her fingerprints all over the success of the reality series.
On Sunday’s episode, Jon’s wife of 18 years makes an appearance as he looks to turn around a bar in Long Beach, California. Though Nicole hasn’t been much for the spotlight over the course of Bar Rescue‘s run, making only sporadic appearances, Jon said that much of the success is owed to her hard work behind the scenes. As the television review site 2paragraphs noted, Nicole often acted as Jon’s scout when surveying bars in need of his help.
Jon explained that Nicole Taffer would do all of his “recon” work, going undercover to see what kind of a bind these bars were in before he came in to help them. Nicole even dyed her hair brown so she wouldn’t be recognized, but eventually, even she became too famous and would be recognized too easily.
But by that point, the show was already a success with a growing fan base, so Nicole’s work was critical in the important make-or-break first season.
There have even been some allegations that Nicole Taffer went a little too far in her work to boost the show. In 2014, she and husband Jon Taffer faced a lawsuit from a Las Vegas doctor who claimed that the production company set him up to hit on Nicole so he could be beaten up by Jon.
As Deadline reported, Dr. Paul Wilkes sued the couple after the 2013 incident in which he suffered “migraine headaches, nausea, vomiting, night terrors, crying spells, severe depression and anxiety attacks.” Wilkes claimed he tried to have his struggling bar featured on the show and was advised by the casting director to act “outlandish” to get a better chance of being featured.
That led Wilkes to make offensive comments around Nicole Taffer, which he said was an act for the cameras. Wilkes said he was told that Jon Taffer wouldn’t even be with his wife, but it turned out he was watching from an SUV and swooped in to defend his wife’s honor.
While Nicole Taffer may not be seen as much on Bar Rescue, she does share plenty of pictures of herself and Jon Taffer on social media, as does he. Earlier this year, he honored his wife with a birthday video montage, thanking her for all the support she has given to him.