RHOC’s Lauren Simon opens up about ‘hellish’ ongoing divorce battle

She and her ex-husband Paul split after 13 years together

real housewives of cheshire lauren

by Eden-Olivia Lord |

The Real Housewives of Cheshire star Lauren Simon returned to the ITVBe show this year leaving fans ecstatic but the reality star has opened up about her private life and admitted her divorce battle has been "hellish".

When RHOC started in 2015, Lauren appeared to be happily married to property investor husband Paul, however, a year later they had split. Despite remaining on the show until series eight - in 2018 - Lauren abruptly left without an explanation.

real housewives cheshire
The RHOC cast in 2015 ©Getty Images

Although her pal Dawn Ward said she had "some personal stuff" going on, that's all we knew.

Lauren, who dubs herself the butterfly, has now opened up about her decision to quit the show in 2018.

"I took a year off filming to try and finalise the divorce, but the plan was always to go back to the show.

"I just needed to take some time off to sort myself out because it was a huge life change. The divorce battle is sadly still ongoing, but it felt like the right time to go back for me," she told OK! magazine.

Lauren was granted a £3 million payout as part of the divorce negotiations, however her ex-husband has been fighting it and has claimed it's "discriminatory".

Check out: axed Real Housewives of Cheshire stars - where are they now?

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Axed Real Housewives of Cheshire stars - where are they now

Magali Gorru00e9
1 of 24
CREDIT: ITV

"If you're gonna cross me, you'd better not cross me. You don't mess with Magali."Magali starred in Real Housewives of Cheshire in 2015. Although the housewife only appeared in series one and two, after shouting-matches and rifts, she definitely left a lasting impression on her co-stars. Magali even found herself wrapped up in a twitter-spat with RHOC star Ester Dee in spring 2018, when Ester claimed she didn't know who Magali was.

Magali Gorre
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CREDIT: Getty Images

Five years on, Magali is still living the highlife. The football-mum prides herself on her luxurious lifestyle, which she regularly shares with her 100k+ Instagram followers. Ahead of series 14 in 2021, Magali told Manchester Evening news that the show was more set up than viewers are lead to believe. "They ask 'how was your day?' and 'what's happening in your life?' and you tell them what's going on," she said. If you don't have anything going on in your life you have to set up situations. But I always had a storyline and something going on."It's not really reality."I was always myself but it looked like I was psychic because I knew what would happen."

Missu00e9 Beqiri
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CREDIT: ITV

Missé Beqiri joined the RHOC cast in April 2016 for series three, but by series five in March 2017, Missé had been demoted to a 'guest housewife'.

Missu00e9 Beqiri
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CREDIT: Instagram @ Misse Beqiri

The model divorced her footballer husband of two years, Anders Lindegaard and got together with Jake Hall - yes, Chloe Lewis' ex from TOWIE. Missé and Jake went on to get engaged and have a daughter together, River. But it hasn't all been plain-sailing for the two reality stars - as Jake received a brief restraining order to stay away from Missé in December 2018. The pair are back together and co-parenting baby River and Missé's son from her marriage with Anders. Missé's was left devastated in December 2019 when her brother Flamur was shot and killed in South West London.

Ampika Pickston
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CREDIT: ITV

Ampika Pickston was an original housewife - joining the RHOC family in series one and lasting until 2017, when she left after series five.

Ampika Pickston
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CREDIT: Getty Images

After a long on/off relationship with partner Mark, Ampika revealed in July 2018 that she was engaged after a new whirlwind romance. Whilst Ampika continues to keep her mystery romance under wraps, she promotes her own weight loss company - Skinny Revolution throughout her social media.

Leanne Brown
7 of 24
CREDIT: ITV

Fans were shocked when OG cast member Leanne Brown didn't return for series six in spring 2018. After an upsetting feud and long court battle with ex-bestie Dawn, Leanne decided to call it quits on the ITVBe show.

Leanne Brown
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CREDIT: Getty Images

Leanne still keeps her fans up to date with her enviable WAG lifestyle - and reportedly even has a tell-all memoir in the pipeline.

Stacey Forsey
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CREDIT: ITV

Stacey Forsey became a guest-housewife in series one (no - we don't remember either) before joining the cast full time for series three - six.She was demoted to 'friend' status by series seven.

Stacey Forsey
10 of 24
CREDIT: Getty Images

Nowadays the artist-turned-writer promotes her lifestyle brand and book, Scrumplicious Sweet Treats: Gluten, Dairy and Egg Free, through Instagram. According to her social media, she's still great pals with Seems Malhotra, who still stars on the show. She's proud mum to a teenaged boy and girl and over lockdown launched her own YouTube cooking channel called Baking With Stacey.She wrote, "As the days get shorter, the nights get longer and the weather gets colder, there's nothing quite like a cosy night in with a heartwarming meal, so that's exactly what we're baking today! This sweet potato hash is my take on my mums recipe for a traditional potato hash, made with plenty of vegetables rich in bioflavonoids and succulent shin beef. Best of all, it takes minimal prep and requires minimal cooking as you just throw it all in one big pot and leave it to do its thing!"

Nermina Pieters-Mekic
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CREDIT: ITV

Nermina lasted just under a year on the hit ITVBe show before producers made her a 'guest-housewife'.

Nermina Pieters-Mekic
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CREDIT: Getty Images

According Nermina's website, the aspiring pop-star has begun a new chapter of her life focusing on re-establishing her music and modelling career in the UK and worldwide, whilst enjoying her suburban life with her husband, dogs and horses. Last year, the former reality star gave birth to a baby girl with husband Erik.Who is Nermina Pieter-Mekic's husband Erik Pieters?Erik Pieters is a professional footballer who currently plays for Burnley. He's also previously played for Utrecht, PSV Eindhoven, Stoke and Amiens, as well as the Dutch national team. As well as their daughter Alaya-Rose, who was born in April 2021, Nermina and Erik also share four dogs. Following Alaya-Rose's birth, Erik admitted he was worrried about missing the big moment due to his football commitments, however luckily that wasn't the case.He told OK!, "I was worried I could be at a game a four-hour drive away. I was so pleased I was there, because it was beautiful."

Lauren Simon
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CREDIT: ITVBe

OG housewife Lauren lasted an incredible eight series on the show and was loved by fans for saying exactly what she thought. Remember that squirm-inducing scene with Taylor Ward and Sam Reece? Exactly.

Lauren Simon
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CREDIT: Getty

We were devastated when Lauren quit the show before series nine. Her on/off friend Dawn Ward said, "Lauren has some personal stuff going on."Lauren's an amazing person, I am missing her to bits. I speak to her daily but she has other commitments at the minute that she needs to concentrate on."In January 2020 it was revealed that Lauren was back in the bosom of the RHOC family - yaaaaas - and, in the latest season, fans watched as she announced the unsettling confession that she's actually slept with a ghost. Uhhh, what?

Perla Navia
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CREDIT: ITV

Perla Navia was a housewife from series seven to ten, and was introduced as the yoga teacher of Rachel Lugo's husband John.

Perla Navia
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CREDIT: Getty

Perla announced she would not be returning for series 11, and wrote on Instagram, "And the time to hang my heels is finally here! Leaving the show was a difficult decision but necessary."I will miss every single person from the unbelievably production crew that make the show happen, they work endless hours to create the magic and peeps I take my hat off to you! Thank you."Since leaving the show Perla has stepped up her yoga career and launched her own fitness and wellness studio in her hometown of Wilmslow. In 2021 Perla had a chance reunion with Dawn Ward after the former 'wives bumped into each other during lunch. Despite their rocky relationship on screen, Dawn wrote, "Sat watching the England game and had the biggest surprise when @perla_navia turned up to say hello."I love this beautiful human being so much made my night. Beautiful inside and out!! #friends #specialfriends".

Leilani Dowding
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CREDIT: ITV

Page 3 model Leilani Dowding lasted just one season (ten) in the show but in her brief appearance managed to rile many cast mates, including Dawn Ward and Christine McGuinness.

Leilani Dowding
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CREDIT: ITV

Leilani revealed in January 2020 that she would not be returning to the show. In March 2020, she and her rocker boyfriend, The Cult's guitarist Billy Duffy, became engaged.

Ester Dee
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CREDIT: ITV

Czech-born Ester Dee joined RHOC in 2016 and shocked her cast mates when she opened up about her complicated love life with secret husband Jon Temple and fiancé Rob Lloyd.

Ester Dee
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CREDIT: Getty

Ester quit the show in August 2020, admitting she "hadn't been happy" while filming the last two series, and hit out at the "incorrect" editing. And, since leaving, she has claimed that former co-star Nicole Sealey was "not her cup of tea" after the pair became involved in a seemingly ongoing feud. Uh oh...

Christine McGuinness
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CREDIT: ITV

While she was never an official Housewife, Christine McGuinness made a number of appearances on the show between series seven and eleven.

Christine McGuinness
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CREDIT: Getty

Christine announced she was departing RHOC at the same time as Ester. She said, "I've got to make time for other things and with any time that I've got I need to spend it with the family and children."

Dawn Ward
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CREDIT: ITV

OG Housewife Dawn Ward is one of only two cast members to have starred in all twelve seasons of the ITVBe show (the other is Tanya Bardsley).

Dawn Ward
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CREDIT: Getty

But after series 12 finished airing on screens, Dawn announced the end of an era when she revealed she wouldn't be returning to the show that made her famous.In a heartfelt statement released on Instagram, Dawn said, "Everyone who knows me knows I'm all about my family, so I've decided that after 12 seasons on the show I would like to concentrate on projects with them."

Speaking about the break down of her marriage, Lauren admitted it wasn't an easy process.

"I’ve had a three and a half year hellish divorce battle, so I really needed a year off to relax. I’ve just been hiding away, being healthy, going to the gym, practising lots of mindfulness and reading self-help books.

"I needed to look after me, and put myself first. The show is full on and I didn’t feel like I could give it 100 per cent last year."

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She went on, "I wasn’t in the right headspace to have the cameras there. And just before I left, I felt like my story lines had come to a natural end so I needed to regroup and come back. Now I’m happy to have the show back – you might even see some romance."

Although Lauren admitted her divorce has been "exhausting" that hasn't put her off getting married again.

The reality star said that she wouldn't rule out walking down the aisle again because five years after their split she's now able to reflect and remember the "good things" about her marriage.

When is The Real Housewives of Cheshire on TV?

RHOC airs on Mondays at 9pm on ITVBe.

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