Robert Herjavec regularly makes the headlines for his exploits on the TV series Shark Tank. He also dazzles the red carpet with his wife, Kym Johnson. He and the professional dancer have established a lovely family with two kids, but Johnson is not actually Herjavec’s first wife. The ace Canadian businessman and investor was previously married to a Canadian-born optometrist, Diane Plese.
The daughter of Croatian-Immigrant parents, Plese and Herjavec began dating in 1988 and wed in 1990. Their marriage lasted for more than two decades, during which they had three children. They also rose to become of the richest and famous families in Canada. The couple truly had it all, but they later split in 2014 after Herjavec cheated on Plese.
Diane Plese Was Born in Canada to Croatian Parents
Diane Plese and Robert Herjavec may no longer be together, but they share some characteristics, and one of these is their mutual Croatian roots. Plese was born in Canada in 1962 to parents who had earlier migrated to that country from Croatia in 1959. She spent her formative years in the Toronto community of Parkdale and completed the equivalence of a high school diploma in record time. She was quite brilliant in her studies, which made her forge ahead to college.
On his part, Robert Herjavec is the son of Croatian immigrants and is actually an immigrant himself. Born on the 14th of September 1962, Herjavec spent the first eight years of his life in the Croatian town of Varaždin. His family later fled the country to Canada due to the repressive communist regime. The relocation was quite difficult for all involved. Herjavec’s family was taken advantage of by strangers, while he also suffered from bullies in school. This spurred him to work hard to help him and his family escapes their circumstances.
She is an Optometrist, While Her Former Husband is an Ace Investor, Businessman, and TV Personality.
Diane Plese first completed a college degree in the late 70s before undergoing an optometry program. She successfully completed the program in the early 80s and qualified as an eye doctor. She thereafter kick-started her career and practiced as an optometrist for several years before the duties of motherhood made her focus on raising the kids that she had with her then-husband, Robert Herjavec.
Herjavec, on his own part, completed his college degree in 1984 before embarking on making a living. He initially deployed his talents as an assistant director for several productions and worked as a field producer for a TV station during the 1984 winter Olympics. This showbiz work is often sporadic, and Herjavec did several odd jobs in-between, such as waiting tables and debt collection, to make ends meet. He then joined the tech-oriented firm, Logiquest, as a salesman.
Robert Herjavec spent several years at Logiquest, during which he rose to the position of a general manager. The company later fired him, and he turned his attention to setting up his own internet security software firm, BRAK Systems, in 1990. He ran the company for 10 years and sold it off for about $30.2 million in 2000. With the windfall from this sale, Robert Herjavec has consolidated his status as a businessman and investor extraordinaire.
He has built and sold several IT companies. He is also the founder and CEO of the Herjavec Group, a global leader in information security worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Robert Herjavec is now recognized as a global cybersecurity expert and has variously advised the American and Canadian governments on related issues. His dexterity has also earned him a spot as one of the investors on the hit ABC show, Shark Tank. Shark Tank features aspiring entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to potential investors, and Herjavec has been on the show for quite some time. He is one of the stars and has developed a reputation as a nice shark.
Diane Plese and Herjavec Began Dating in 1988 and Got Married Two Years Later
Diane Plese first met Robert Herjavec in 1988 when he came to the eye clinic where she worked. They got talking, perhaps spurred on their mutual Croatian heritage, and later went on a couple of dates. They thereafter commenced a relationship. This relationship progressed smoothly as the couple relished what they liked about each other. Plese was the realistic person who kept Herjavec tethered to the ground while he stole her heart with his happy, motivated, and exciting personality.
The couple dated for two years before tying the knot in 1990 at a Croatian church in Mississauga, a Canadian city near Toronto. Following the nuptials, they settled down and began building their life together. Plese continued pursuing her work as an eye doctor while Herjavec set up his BRAK Systems Company in their basement. Getting the company off the ground was quite difficult, but the young man hung in there. Diane also supported him, and the company grew more profitable with each passing year.
Their Marriage Lasted for 24 years, During Which They Welcomed Three Kids and Became Quite Rich
Diane Plese and Robert Herjavec welcomed their first child, a son named Brendan, in 1993. They went on to have two more kids, daughters – Skye and Caprice in 1996 and 1998, respectively. The couple initially provided a modest lifestyle for their kids, but they became super-wealthy after Herjavec sold BRAK Systems off in 2000. From managing to make ends meet, they started vacationing in several different parts of the world and bought luxurious boats and expensive cars. The largess from the BRAK sale also meant that Diane could afford to quit her job, and she did so in 2000. She became a stay-at-home mom and tended to their three kids, who attended exclusive private schools.
When it came to real estate, Diane Plese and Robert Herjavec bought several homes in Canada and beyond, including their primary residence in Bridle Path, an upscale residential neighborhood in Toronto. The couple shelled out $7 million for the mansion in 2000. It measured 33,650 square feet and featured 10 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms. Other features included a home theater, sports center, tea house, indoor pool, a large ballroom, and serene gardens with a pond. The Bridle Path Mansion was so palatial Diane and Herjavec sometimes rented it out to celebrities such as Bono and john Travolta.
The couple also became well-known personalities after Herjavec was hired to feature in TV shows such as Dragons Den and Shark Tank in the mid-2000s. This newfound fame led to them attending award ceremonies such as the People’s Choice Awards. They were also feted by several publications. Diane and her husband also did their best to give back to society and supported initiatives such as the University of West Indies Canada initiative, which provides scholarships to less privileged students.
The Couple Divorced in 2015 after Herjavec Cheated on Plese
Despite the issues that they must have inevitably encountered, Diane Plese and Robert Herjavec could make their union last for 24 years. Such longevity fetched them people’s admiration, and many assumed that they would last forever. However, this was not to be as the couple announced that they were getting a divorce in March 2015. They revealed that they had separated on the 24th of July 2014 and struck an amicable tone. Plese described Herjavec as a caring husband and responsible person but stated that she couldn’t live with him anymore.
On his own part, the businessman described human relationships as difficult and revealed that he wished nothing but love and peace for his family as they moved forward. Neither Diane nor Herjavec was willing to reveal the reason behind their split, but the details spilled out in the course of their divorce proceedings. It turned out that Herjavec had an extramarital affair with an actress named Danielle Vasinova in 2014. The affair came to Diane’s attention, which prompted her to file for divorce. This also made her determined to get as much as possible out of her husband in the divorce settlement. Herjavec, on his part, was determined not to give so much to Diane, which set the stage for a hotly-contested divorce battle.
Their Divorce Battle Stretched out for Years as They Squabbled Over Financial Settlement
The divorce proceedings between Diane Plese and Robert Herjavec spanned several years, and this was primarily a result of finances. The couple disagreed on the true extent of Herjavec’s net worth. They also squabbled over the real value of the several houses they owned. The couple also embarked on a battle over a trust fund that Herjavec set up in 1996. He had paid in about $21 million into the trust fund in 2000 but withdrew money from the trust over the years to pay for family expenses and the children’s tuition fees.
By the time of the split in 2014, there was virtually nothing in the trust, and Diane asked the court to declare her ex-husband in breach of trust and order him to pay back money to the trust. The court rejected her arguments on this particular issue, and the divorce proceedings stretched to 2016. In the end, Herjavec was ordered to pay about $167,000 to Diane as monthly spousal and child support. She also got an additional $20 million from the sale of their various assets.
This ordinarily should have marked the final settlement of the couple’s divorce, but this was not so. Diane Plese still hung on to her belief that her ex-husband had understated the value of his assets and teamed up with his ex-mistress, Danielle Vasinova, to prove her point. Vasinova alleged that Herjavec had bragged to her about understating his net worth by half and declared her willingness to testify to that effect. This motivated Plese to amen her divorce pleadings, and in 2019, the court awarded her an additional $2.6 million tagged equalization payment. They also awarded her an additional $2.8 million from the sale of their properties in Florida and Caledon.
Diane Plese Remains Single While Her Ex-Husband Remarried Aussie Professional Dancer, Kym Johnson
Diane Plese has stayed out of the spotlight following her divorce from Herjavec. Therefore, it is hard to tell what she is up to these days or if she has remarried. However, there is no doubt that she will be quite well off, given that she got a settlement of not less than $25 million from her divorce. She also has three kids to lavish her love and attention on. Her ex-husband has meanwhile moved on with his life.
Robert Herjavec was initially devastated by the divorce and even harbored thoughts of suicide after the kids stopped speaking to him. His pastor, however, helped him regain a passion for life, and in 2015, he went on the TV show Dancing with the Stars. He was partnered with Australian pro dancer Kym Johnson, and they had a good run on the show. They later started dating and wed on the 31st of July 2016. To date, the couple remains together and welcomed twins: Hudson and Haven Herjavec in April 2018.
The Couple’s Children are all Grown Up and Pursuing Careers in the Corporate World
Diane Plese and her ex-husband had three children in the course of their marriage. They are daughters, Skye and Caprice, and a son named Brendan. The kids were teenagers when their parents divorced and knew that their dad cheated. This strained their relationship with him, and they supported their mom in their divorce. They were estranged from their father for quite some time before going on to reestablish contact with him.
Her First Child, Brendan, is an Experienced Business Strategy and Development Professional
- Date of birth: 1993
- Age: 31 years old
Brendan is the first of the three children that Diane Plese shares with her ex-husband, Robert Herjavec. Brendan was born around 1993 and spent much of his formative years in Canada. He was already in college by the time his parents divorced and did the best he could under the situation. Brendan completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario. He also underwent graduate programs at Yale School of Management and the University of British Columbia. Brendan has worked with several companies over the years and serves as a client manager for Inkblot Therapy and Memoryz. These companies assist people with mental health and dementia, respectively.
Her Daughter, Skye, is also a Business Executive and Entrepreneur
- Date of birth: 1996
- Age: 28 years old
Diane Plese’s second child is her daughter, Skye. She was born in 1996 and also grew up in Canada. She completed her secondary education at Havergal College. She also attended USC, where she studied business administration and management. Skye was a brilliant honor roll student during her school days. She was also athletic and took part in 5k runs and cross country meet. Skye has now left school and continues to make waves. She has worked as a summer analyst at JPMorgan Chase. She also started three Lululemon pop-up stores in the Canadian city of Ontario.
Her Third Child, Caprice, was an Expert Rower During Her College Days
- Date of birth: 1998
- Age: 26 years old
The last of Diane Plese’s three children is her daughter, Caprice. Caprice was born in the year 1998 and grew up with both her parents in Canada. She attended Havergal College Ontario and completed her secondary school diploma in 2016. She thereafter enrolled at Barnard College, Columbia University. Caprice spent four years at Barnard College, during which she obtained a double-major in psychology and human rights, with a minor in economics. She was also a rowing team member and led them to a bronze medal in a 2019 meet. Caprice now works as a consultant at FW Cook, an executive compensation consulting firm in New York.