5:34am PT by Jackie Strause
Chris Harrison Breaks Silence on Claims Against 'Bachelor' Creator Mike Fleiss
Bachelor host Chris Harrison has spoken out about the allegations against franchise creator Mike Fleiss.
Fleiss, who created the ABC franchise in 2002 with the first iteration of The Bachelor, is under police investigation for an alleged assault involving his pregnant wife. A Kauai police department spokeswoman told The Hollywood Reporter they were looking into the alleged incident on July 17 after Laura Fleiss was granted an emergency restraining order, filed in Los Angeles, after detailing an alleged fight that took place over the Fourth of July weekend while the couple was in Hawaii. Fleiss denied the allegations in a declaration filed in response to the claims.
Warner Bros. TV, producer of ABC's Bachelor franchise, told THR they were "aware of these serious allegations, and are looking into them." Sources have since told THR that the alleged domestic-dispute situation will not impact any of the franchise shows that are currently airing or in production. The Bachelorette will air its two-night finale with Hannah Brown on Monday and Tuesday, and summer spinoff Bachelor in Paradise premieres the following week.
When speaking on The Ringer's Bachelor Party podcast, Harrison seemed to echo that the situation with Fleiss won't impact the long-running TV franchise, explaining how it is "completely different" than the sexual misconduct investigation that temporarily shut down Paradise in 2017.
"That was a production situation, something that happened on our set having to do with our show and was relative to our production," Harrison said. "Mike Fleiss and his situation is completely different. It is a very personal, private matter between he, his wife, his kids, his family and is outside of production."
Harrison reiterated that Warner Bros. reached out to him to tell him they are aware of the allegations and "are taking them very serious and they're looking into them." The longtime host then added, "It wouldn't be right for me to have any more comment beyond that right now. We will wait and see until any more facts come in. I believe them that they are taking this very serious and looking into this."