He’s setting the record straight. Michael Jessen and Juliana Custodio were introduced to fans during the season 7 premiere of TLC’s hit reality TV series, 90 Day Fiancé. Now that it’s halfway through the season, drama is at an all-time high in their storyline. But Michael, 42, seemed extremely upset about the way he and Juliana, 23, were portrayed in the episode that aired on Sunday, December 15, so he took to Instagram to air his grievances about the network and production company Sharp Entertainment’s editing.
“This is the biggest bunch of manufactured bulls–t … shame on you Sharp Entertainment and TLC,” Michael captioned a screengrab from the episode. In that particular scene, Michael and Juliana sat with a mediator as they discussed their prenuptial agreement, and Michael hinted the scene did not accurately depict how it went down.
Shortly after the episode aired, Michael went on Instagram Live to explain why he was upset, and he didn’t hold back. “This has been a very interesting journey for us, for our family. Tonight’s episode and really last week sort of planted the seeds, and I think next week we’re going to see more of this stuff. It’s been a little difficult for us to be quite honest,” he admitted. “You know, look, it’s a reality TV show. We’re not paid actors. There’s certainly a lot of liberties that are taken in the filming of this and that’s all well and good and it’s fun and games but I gotta say, Sarah (my ex-wife,) and Juliana, myself, we appreciate all the positivity and the support because we are living real lives here.”
“This set up of the whole prenup, it’s really created quite a backlash. My ex-wife, Sarah’s been getting a lot of negative feedback, Juliana is, I am. That’s cool. I’m glad everyone’s got their feelings or are passionate about it. But it’s something where I feel like I need to call a little bit of bulls–t because it’s not really who we are. It’s not really reflective of our reality. Prenuptial agreement, is it important? Is it something people should consider? Yeah, of course. For our situation, is it important? I guess. I don’t know. I won’t give any spoilers. You’ll see how this plays out next week,” he continued. “I think we’re all a little upset that it’s kind of cut out the kindness that we truly share together and it was something that was a part of the narrative of our 90 Day Fiancé experience that was departing from who we really are.”
Michael then explained why he isn’t able to go into too much detail at the moment. “Maybe I’m being a little careful. We’ve signed some things, there’s NDAs. To be honest, I don’t really care. I have a lot of lawyers. I don’t think that’s something to worry about, but I think this is a good dialogue when it comes to relationships and relationships in our situation and what does that mean. What should people do or not do,” he continued. “No, I won’t give it away. Watch, see how this plays out. We’re all upset about the harshness for which we were portrayed. It hurts our feelings.”
When a few fans pointed out that the backlash is something they “signed up for” as reality stars, Michael seemed to get even more upset. He explained there is no way anyone can prepare for something like this, and he got honest about whether it was a good decision to open their lives up to cameras in the first place.
“And of course, there’s a lot of second-guessing. Was this the right decision for us to make? I don’t know. That remains to be seen, okay. We don’t know. Here we are, we’re halfway through the season and we’re at an arc in the narrative that I’m sure the network and the production company is happy with. Unfortunately, it’s just, there’s a fine line,” he added. “Like I said, we’re not paid actors. This is still our real lives. But when there’s such distortions of concepts that are happening in our life and end up not only misrepresenting who we are but actually affecting our lives, that’s something that becomes upsetting. I hope you can understand that. So you’ll see how this plays out. And in due time, when I have more liberty and freedom for all of us to be more open about this experience with 90 Day Fiancé, with Sharp Entertainment, with TLC. There’s a lot we can say, but we’ll play ball. We’ll talk about it. This has been very difficult to swallow. This has been a very difficult part of the narrative. It wasn’t something we ever endorsed and it wasn’t something that was really very close to our reality.”
It seems like Michael is more upset with the way he is being portrayed on the show, and how that alters the public’s perception of him as a person.
“I wanna say something else and I started thinking about this, I saw trailers for this episode and it was the Pillowtalk trailers. And Paola Mayfield, she said something when the prenuptial thing comes up with us, she looks at us and says, ‘Oh he only thinks of himself.’ That’s exactly why I get upset about this, Sarah gets upset, Juliana gets upset. It shows how the show distorts the reality of who we are,” Michael explained. “And anybody who knows who we really are … come on. We have to live with the consequences of what is being shown on TV because this is being broadcast to so many more people than we’ve ever met or know. To hear words like that, it’s like a knife in my heart. I give so much, we all give so much. We care a lot. And here’s a little bit of news. Juliana and I, today, just initiated the process of adopting her niece and nephew from Brazil. They’re 8 and 6 years old. And they’re in [a] dire situation. The only way to give them a chance at a good life is to bring them to America. We’ve reached out to my lawyer, we’re bringing them over here. So Paola Mayfield, I always think of myself. OK, thank you. But that’s how TLC and Sharp Entertainment want to shape it, isn’t it?. But ultimately, we have to live lives after this is long over. We have to live with the consequences.”
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