Guest From 'Millionaire Matchmaker' Charged With Raping 3 Women
A wealthy Sherman Oaks business owner who once appeared on Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker has been charged with raping three women.
Michael Leslie Bernback, 62, has been charged with eight felonies and three misdemeanors, according to a release from the L.A. County District Attorney's Office. The felony charges include one count each of sexual penetration with a foreign object, forcible rape, attempted sodomy by use of force, forcible oral copulation, rape by use of drugs, rape of an unconscious person and two counts of administering drugs to commit rape. The misdemeanor charges include possession of MDMA, GHB and cocaine.
Bernback, who was arrested earlier this month, allegedly assaulted three different women in their 20s at his Sherman Oaks home on three different dates: September 23, 2014; September 27, 2014; and August 11, 2015. Investigators said that he met the women online. He is accused of drugging one of the women and tying up another during the attack. If convicted, Bernback may get multiple life terms in prison. His bail has been set at $2.1 million.
Bernback is the owner of a golfing company with a store in Encino, according to CBS LA, and also writes music.
According to Bernback's personal website, he was born in Brooklyn but went to high school in Culver City then college at UCLA. He calls himself one of the "original creators" of Chippendale's, though a Chippendale founder told CBS LA they'd never heard of Bernback before.
Bernback was once featured on a 2011 episode of Millionaire Matchmaker, in which matchmaker Patti Stanger acted as a dating liaison for wealthy men. In the episode, he said he was worth $8 million, owned 10 houses and could afford whatever he wanted. He also identified his most recent girlfriend as "Miss Philippines 2004." While Stanger enjoyed the other bachelor on that episode—ex-NFL player Marcellus Wiley, she wasn't too into Bernback, writing in a Bravo blog that he was looking exclusively for a much younger woman—a "baby breeder."
This week is really exciting. I've got the famous, NFL ex-player who's Mr. ESPN on the radio, Marcellus Wiley. I am thrilled. But I also have another douchebag this week, a Jewish douchebag, not good for the Jews. His name — Michael Leslie Bernback. He invented some review that was a rip off of Chippendale's. He made his money that way. Now he's trying to be a fledgling songwriter. Not so cool with what he does. And he comes on to me with the charm — "You look beautiful. You look skinny. How 'bout you going out with me?" Not a chance. He's this tall. He's obnoxious. And his bullshit is about this big. I'm not going out with him.
Though Stanger matched him with an "age-appropriate" woman who he seemed to like, the episode noted that they only went out one more time. Despite Stanger's efforts to convince Bernback to date more "age-appropriate" women, a neighbor told CBS LA that Bernback was always being visited by various young women. One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said it was usually two women a night, three or four nights a week. "I was waiting for it to implode," she said.
Anyone with additional information should contact the LAPD Van Nuys Community Police Station at 818-374-9500.
The episode of Millionaire Matchmaker in which Bernback appeared can be seen below.