Following a judge’s decision, David Tutera, celebrity wedding planner extraordinaire-turned-reality TV star, has had his fraternal twin children separated as a result of a custody battle with ex-partner Ryan Jurica.
The star of WeTV’s “My Fair Wedding” and its many nuptial-planning spinoffs appeared on “The View” Friday to confront the split that has been casting a pall on his fairy-tale career.
Tutera filed to split earlier this year in California after 10 years with Jurica, and the proceedings got nasty in May when Jurica accused Tutera of being a sex addict; the pair is still doing battle.
“We are not at a resolution now,” he said on the show. “But I will never say anything negative or foul about my ex-partner. My integrity of who I am and what I’ve done for all these years is super important to who I am.”
Tutera said the “process of the divorce has been quite challenging” too.
He explained that the split came before the birth of their children -- daughter Cielo and son Cedric -- via surrogate, which involved a three-year process.
“The relationship was going poorly for six years,” he told Barbara Walters and company. “We went through with [having children] in hopes that the relationship would get better and that having a family would make it better.”
Obviously, it didn’t, and now the children, who Tutera said are “half” brother and sister, have to live 3,000 miles apart, one with him in L.A. and the other in Connecticut with Jurica, according to a temporary custody arrangement.
“We transferred two embryos into the surrogate: One was biologically mine, my daughter Cielo; one was biologically his, his son Cedric,” Tutera said. “When we were going through the process of divorce, we decided to make sure that I had custody of my daughter, and he had custody of his son.”
Despite the separation, Tutera said that he “absolutely” wants his children to have a relationship with each other but that it likely wouldn’t happen right away.
“That can’t happen until the environment is calm and peaceful,” he said. “I have no right to not have them know each other, but I can protect my daughter about when that time is the right time ... My responsibility right now is to get through a divorce and protect and guide and nurture my daughter.”
Jurica gave a statement to “The View” saying that he hopes to work together for “a positive outcome” that will eventually unite their children.
“I have always wanted to be a dad. That was really important to me,” Tutera added. “And I’ve always wanted the fairy-tale life of being in a relationship. I fell in love with Ryan. I still love Ryan. That is a very true fact.”
Tutera, 47, has built his brand on all things bridal as a wedding wizard of sorts, transforming clients’ lackluster nuptials into celebrity-style affairs on his makeover show for WeTV.
He and Jurica had a commitment ceremony in Vermont in September 2003; Vermont allowed civil unions starting in 2000 and legalized same-sex marriage in 2009. They separated on New Year’s Day 2013, according to Tutera’s Los Angeles County Superior Court filing asking to dissolve their domestic partnership. The document cited “irreconcilable differences,” with David seeking full custody of their kids at the time, visitation for Jurica and denial of spousal support, and asking Jurica to pay legal fees related to the split.
The wedding planner filed the court documents to end their decade-long partnership on April 19, but it turns out that two days prior, on April 17, Jurica had filed documents of his own to dissolve it. He claimed Tutera had an “addiction to sex” and “engaged in a pattern of hiring sex escorts and prostitutes to support his addiction.”
The WeTV star denied Jurica’s allegations, calling them “baseless” and “untrue.”
“I am saddened by these developments; I am angered by the lies; and I am committed to moving beyond this painful moment to focus on my professional commitments and the upcoming birth of my children,” Tutera said at the time.
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