NICKI STERLING hopes to win the heart of TV “Bachelor” BEN FLAJNIK – but she might lose out when Ben hears about a dark secret from her past!

The ENQUIR­ER has learned exclusively that Nicki’s ex-hus­band Michael Sterling is wanted by Texas authorities for skipping out on probation after a drunk driving arrest.

Winemaker Ben picked Nicki,a 26-year-old dental hygienist from Hurst, Texas, for his first one-on-one date, a romantic but rainsoaked tour of San Juan.

During the outing, Nicki poured out her heart about her painful past but failed to mention her ex’s brush with the law.

According to court documents obtained by The ENQUIRER, Michael Sterling – who married Nicki in June 2007 – was arrested by Waco police in June 2010 for driving while intoxicated just weeks after the couple officially split. He pleaded guilty four months later and was sentenced to 120 days in jail and slapped with a $2,000 fine. The prison sentence was suspended and he was placed on conditional probation for 12 months.

His probation was later revoked after he consumed alcohol and failed to com­plete community service, records show.

When contacted by The ENQUIRER, Sterling – who was also busted but never charged for petty theft in 2006 – said: “I am aware there is a warrant out for my arrest and I am going to take steps to correct it.”

As for his split from Nicki, he said: “The reason for our divorce is a private matter between Nicki and me.”