Fans of the Real Housewives of Orange County have not even met newcomer Gina Kirschenheiter yet, but she’s already surrounded by drama; the new Bravo star and her husband separated in March while filming her very first season of the series.
Matthew Kirschenheiter and Gina had been married for nearly eight years when she filed for divorce on April 2 in Orange County Superior Court. Citing “irreconcilable differences” as the cause for the dissolution of their marriage, she is asking for sole physical custody and joint legal custody of the three children they have together: 6-year-old Nicholas, 4-year-old Sienna, and 2-year-old Luca.
Additionally, according to Radar Online, Gina is requesting that the judge “terminate” her husband’s spousal support and requested “domestic partner support.” She also wants Matthew to pay all of her legal fees.
“After careful consideration and deep thought, we have decided to end our legal marriage,” Gina said in a statement to Us Weekly. “With that said, we will never end our friendship and will forever remain family. We are dedicated to raising our children together in a happy, healthy, loving environment. We will be navigating this difficult process with respect and grace for one another. We kindly ask for others to treat us with this same respect and grace as we move through this family adjustment.”
Gina told the magazine that they had some marital issues in the past when they lived in Long Island, New York, and he had a long, daily commute into New York City for work.
Moving to Orange County three years ago was a positive step in their marriage, but Matthew’s busy work life in Los Angeles, and the new challenges that come with filming a reality TV series, could not keep their union intact.
“I think I did see it as an opportunity that would be good for us, cause we’re buddies, we’re friends, we’re just going to navigate this together,” she told Us Weekly. “And then when he couldn’t film, and he’s also away a lot, I think that it probably did have more of a negative effect on our relationship and made things harder. Now I’m basically going on this venture, and he’s not included and involved in it, and it creates even more distance than is already there.”
Gina is one of two new cast members joining RHOC this season in the wake of the departures of Meghan King Edmonds, Peggy Sulahian, and Lydia McLaughlin. The other woman joining Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, Shannon Beador, and Kelly Dodd this season is attorney and part-time party planner Emily Simpson. According to Bravo, “Tamra brings her estranged friend Emily and acquaintance Gina into the group to shake things up in the OC.”
The Season 13 premiere of the Real Housewives of Orange County airs on Monday, July 16, at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.