Paul Staehle and Karine Martins: Will They EVER Return to 90 Day Fiance?
Despite being longtime stars of the franchise, Paul Staehle and Karine Martins were banned from the Tell All this year.
Now, even though they have reconciled, fans are wondering if they’ll ever again be allowed to film for 90 Day Fiance.
Tell All specials for 90 Day Fiance seasons are filmed similarly to Real Housewives Reunions — they’re filmed while the season is airing, many months after filming.
In Paul and Karine’s case, this meant that the Tell All for Season 5 of Happily Ever After? filmed after their huge fight this summer.
In late July, Paul went on Instagram Live (for reasons unknown) during a police visit to the home that he shared with Karine and little Pierre.
Obviously many 90 Day Fiance couples have broken up — some doing so even after the expense of the K-1 visa process and a wedding.
That does not stop them from being invited back to the show.
It is not uncommon to see a pair of contentious exes square off at the Tell All specials, each shouting their side at the other.
But Paul and Karine didn’t just break up this summer.
A pregnant Karine fled the house with Pierre, though she clarified that she was not “missing” and that police knew where she was if they needed her.
She took out a restraining order against Paul, accusing him of abuse, controlling behavior, hiding her documents, and even of rape.
Paul retaliated by taking out a restraining order of his own against Karine.
(Notably, Paul has exhibited bizarre behavior for years, and we cannot attempt to explain what his thinking is at any given time)
In his police report, he implied that Karine had tried to kill him by putting shards of glass into his food.
In light of all of that, TLC opted to not invite the couple to the Tell All, even though it was a remote Tell All and would have been easy to film.
With the allegations against Paul … and even the bizarre accusation against Karine … it seemed like the couple was too hot to touch.
Remember, networks can face boycotts and advertiser pullouts if they cross the line from courting controversy to airing the untouchable.
It looked as if they were gearing up for a protracted, painful divorce and an even uglier custody battle, possibly taking place in two countries.
Then, in about the middle of September, Paul and Karine reconciled.
They dropped their respective restraining orders and got back together.
Paul insinuated that the person who translated for Karine at the police station had fabricated statements from Karine.
According to him, this is why Karine had appeared to accuse him of wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, Paul admitted that he had lied about Karine, acknowledging that she had not put broken glass in his milkshake — saying that he was just angry and wanted to lash out.
But making peace doesn’t necessarily mean that TLC will have them back.
Paul and Karine’s marriage has been volatile for years. This is not their first dramatic, public breakup in the past year.
This is also not Paul’s first time facing off with an ex who accused her of mistreating her — it’s just that he wasn’t on TV with any of his former exes.
TLC has aired some of the worst people on the planet, and we’re not just talking about some 19 Kids And Counting stars who are better left unnamed.
Despite that, their standards for giving 90 Day Fiance stars the boot are hard to understand at times.
Let’s look at some of their past decisions to see if they can help us predict Paul and Karine’s futures on TV.
Deavan did not record for the Tell All this year, but she was paid for it — while Jihoon, facing harrowing allegations of child-abuse, was disinvited.
Larissa Lima was fired from Happily Ever After? even though she and Eric were already filming for Season 6.
The bizarre reason that TLC cited to her was that she had done a CamSoda show. If this is really the reason, it is thoughtless and unjust discrimination against sex work.
Meanwhile, much earlier this year, Geoffrey Paschel was disinvited from the Before The 90 Days Tell All.
Why? Because the guy is a total monster whose extensive criminal history will make your hair stand on end. Fans petitioned to have him fired, but TLC still aired his season without a disclaimer.
Honestly, there are times when I wish that I had never read the details of what this man has been accused of doing to multiple ex-wives, multiple ex-girlfriend, and to his own children.
Late this spring, self-styled “Baby Girl” Lisa Hamme was fired from B90 Strikes Back despite having begun filming.
There’s no good time to be exposed flinging the N-word left and right, both at your own fans and at your actual husband, a Black man.
But we’d have to say that June of 2020 was, in terms of optics and social pressure, perhaps the literal worst time in history to be a low-level reality star exposed as a racist. Bye!
At the same time, there is Angela Deem. Angela remains a fixture on the franchise, though there are many who want her fired, too.
For some, it’s as simple as the way that she tried to attack one of her castmates, Avery Mills, at the Tell All last year.
For others, it is her constant verbal and emotional abuse of Michael Ilesanmi, her fiance and now her husband. No one deserves to be treated that way … but Angela has not been fired.
Ultimately, when networks make these decisions, sometimes compassion may play into things, but it’s usually about the bottom line.
Is there more interest in seeing someone on camera, or could airing them get the network boycotted, see a drop in advertising interest, or risk an expensive lawsuit?
Only time will tell whether TLC is prepared to take a risk on Paul and Karine. They’re a polarizing couple that people love to watch … but if they fired Larissa over nothing, they might fire anyone.
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