Secrets From Behind The Scenes Of 90 Day Fiancé 

Reality TV offers us a window into the lives of others that we wouldn't normally see. We get to pull back the curtains and witness 'real' love, drama, and heartbreak. Yet, we have all come to know that even though the people we look at through the glass are real, editing for viewer ratings is also a thing; drama keeps us entertained, and they often crank up the dial.

It seems the producers of TLC's "90 Day Fiancé" often guide our perceptions with clever editing. Editors create a narrative (victim and hero), trim dialogue to a catchy soundbite, or they twist up dialogue, cutting and pasting from the massive amount of filmed content that didn't make it on the show.

Not that this is something new; it's been the case since the dawn of the first reality show, "The Real World." Even though it was pitched to viewers as raw reality, marketing played a huge role. ”The Real World” was developed using a soap opera format that has since set the tone for other shows. ”The Real World” participants are diverse, but the roles are formulaic. The classic archetypes are typically present, such as the brain, the model, the gay youth, the sheltered small-town girl, and the charming guy with sex on his mind, a concept the New York Times explained in 2001. This all begs the question: what don't audiences see behind the scenes of "90 Day Fiancé?" Keep reading to find out. 

Deavan Clegg claims 96% of her storyline was faked 

Viewers who watched the awkward relationship between Deavan Clegg and Jihoon Lee unfold on "90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way" won't be surprised by Clegg's claim that it was 96% scripted on "90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way" Season 1, and partially scripted in Season 2, per People. The couple met on a dating app, and Lee flew from South Korea to the U.S. to meet her. Their first meeting didn't go as planned, and Clegg became pregnant, rocketing their brief relationship forward.

The storyline of her moving to Korea "was scripted," she said on her Instagram Stories. "I never moved to Korea in Season 1. We planned a 7 day trip because filming insisted we had to film scenes in Korea because it's 'The Other Way.' We got cast for Season 2 and agreed to stay in Korea for filming. ... We knew if we didn't finish the season and spoke out, we wouldn't get paid" (via Screen Rant). She also claimed that the scene where she tried to gain approval to marry Lee from his parents was also fake, saying they were already married on paper at the time. Clegg and Lee have since divorced after a "two year battle" (via In Touch). 

In an unfortunate update, three-year-old Taeyang has leukemia and is undergoing chemo, according to People. Clegg recently shared a touching video of current boyfriend Topher Park shaving his head in solidarity with Taeyang on Instagram. Park and Clegg are expecting a baby in November 2022. 

Producers beg stars to reveal secrets to stir up drama

Mimi Shibre, Biniyam Shibre's sister, claims that the iconic scene where their other sister Wish threw a glass of red wine in Ariela Weinberg's face on Season 9 was a setup. It seems the situation may have been less organic, and more the producers sparking a match on top of existing tinder behind the scenes. Weinberg and Shibre appeared on two seasons of "90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way," and made it onto the OG series when Shibre's K-1 visa got approved.

Mimi posted a video of her drinking with someone she alluded to being a producer on her Instagram Stories, writing, "When they kiki with u just to go and edit the narrative ... when they begged to give u a platform to reveal some insane a** secrets. #anythingforviews I guess" (via In Touch). 

The eruption happened after Shibre didn't tell his family about him moving to the U.S. until the music video premiere for his single "Dancey Dancey." Shibre's sisters blamed Weinberg for not telling them sooner, and the argument quickly spiraled into deeper family issues — which Mimi claims producers encouraged them to bring up. This pushed the already heated argument over the edge, ending in Wish throwing her drink in Weinberg's face and walking out. Although the scene itself wasn't staged, producers have a method of stirring up drama. Weinberg and Shibre now live in New York, and Weinberg told ET there's been no change in her strained relationship with Wish.

Producers had Cassia Tavares take a pregnancy test for ratings

According to In Touch, Cassia Tavares (Season 2 of "90 Day Fiancé" with Jason Hitch) reportedly claimed that when she took a pregnancy test on camera, producers had asked her to take it, even though they knew she wasn't pregnant. 

Hitch met Tavares on Facebook while she was in an online relationship with his friend. Waiting in the wings after they broke up, he was there to console her, and they began dating. The couple separated in 2017 and filed for divorce in January 2018 after she charged him with domestic battery. She later dropped the charges (per In Touch). Their divorce was a mutual decision, Hitch told Radar Online: "No fighting over anything." 

Tavares revealed on Instagram that she's since found love with new husband Giuseppe, who she married in Italy in February 2022. Tragically, Hitch, who was unvaccinated, died from Coronavirus complications in 2021. According to Us Weekly, he was only 45 years old at the time, and his family doesn't think he had any pre-existing conditions. His sister, Shannon Speagle, told TMZ that she's "beyond devastated" and that "hopefully his death will be a cautionary tale for others. Jason dying should highlight the importance of getting vaccinated and taking every preventative measure you can against COVID, even if you think you're healthy."

A Tinder incident may or may not have been staged behind the scenes

Ashley Martson and Jay Smith appeared on Season 6 of "90 Day Fiancé." The two met at a nightclub while Martson was in Jamaica for a wedding, after which he found her on social media and they began a relationship. He proposed six months later, and they married soon after. Their relationship brought many challenges, partially due to their 12-year age gap and cultural differences. Three days after the wedding, Martson caught Jay on a dating app during an episode of "90 Day Fiancé."

Smith claims production set up some of the drama surrounding the couple during their season. Smith told In Touch, "The Tinder incident that happened, that was staged because without drama you don't have a show. The Tinder scandal, it was just an act so it was easy to move [past it] because you know, we just act on the TV and after ... that was it." Martson's version of events were a little different though, telling In Touch, "He used Tinder and he got caught on camera." But she did also acknowledge production staging: "We know that they do editing and things, and we sign off on that so it is what it is."

Their divorce was finalized in 2021. "Jay and I are still in touch and remain friends," Martson told Celebuzz. They seem to both be focusing on their careers — Jay as a tattoo artist, and Ashley as a hair stylist and salon owner.

One cast member claimed a controversial scene was fake

Stephanie Woodcock (maternal grandmother of Bryson, Robert Springs' son) who appeared on Season 7, claims that the bizarre check scene was scripted. In the scene, Woodcock clashes with Anny Francisco, Spring's fiancé, on their first meeting. Woodcock offered Francisco $15,000 to leave Springs and return to the Dominican Republic, questioned whether she was on birth control, and asked if she wanted kids.

Woodcock posted on an Instagram, "It's f***ing TV people. TV!!! It's fake. It's scripted. I had to borrow a checkbook because the producers asked me to do this. I have screenshots to prove this" (via In Touch).  

Springs and Francisco met online and spent only eight hours together in person before Springs proposed. The couple got married in 2019, and welcomed a daughter Brenda, in 2020. Devastatingly, they lost their son Adriel in 2022 at only 7 months old. Heartbroken mother Francisco posted a photo of a black ribbon, writing, "I am devastated and [so is] my family ... life is so hard and difficult. I never thought I would lose my son. He was a fighter ... his heart couldn't take it ... my heart is broken it's a big pain ... so difficult" (via In Touch).

Larissa Dos Santos Lima claimed producers encouraged plastic surgery to stir up buzz

Larissa Dos Santos Lima first appeared in Season 6 during her disastrous engagement and marriage to Colt Johnson. Johnson was a package deal with his mom, Debbie, and their co-dependent dynamic made the couple's relationship seem more like a nightmare "throuple."

After divorcing Johnson, Lima appeared on "90 Days: Happily Ever After?" where cameras showed her extensive plastic surgery. She has since blamed the show's producers, saying she was encouraged to do "the surgery thing" by the show's producers "to get people talking about it" (via TV Insider). During an episode of "90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?" she spoke in detail about the procedures: "I lose weight. I did butt to make it bigger. I did Botox. I did my nose. I did my lips. I did my cheekbones. I did my chin" (via Us Weekly). The surgeries reportedly cost her $72,000.

Lima recently talked to fans during an Instagram Story Q&A about her decision to give up plastic surgery. Before this announcement, she opened up about how she had suffered a botched surgery that left her with a missing belly button. Lima's since had three painful procedures to recreate it without success. "I'm tired of being silent in my sadness with nowhere to go to fix this problem," she shared (via In Touch). After three seasons, Lima has been let go from the TLC franchise, attributing the firing to her accounts on websites CamSoda and OnlyFans, per TV Insider.

Scenes are re-filmed after the event

Mohamed Jbali, from Season 2 of "90 Day Fiancé," revealed on Facebook Live that the show stages scenes (via Radar Online). In a series of videos, Jbali said, "I am going to put the same clothes on and redo the scenes for the courthouse. I'm going to do that today until noon." 

His relationship with Danielle Mullins was tumultuous, to say the least, and the 23-year age difference made fans question both of their intentions. After finding out about Jbali's infidelity shortly after their wedding, Mullins filed for an annulment, which would have caused Jbali to be deported. She later changed her filing to divorce, per Us Weekly.

Being one of the most dramatic couples in the series, it was surprising when Mullins said that they have since made up after being on bad terms for the years after their break-up. Mullins revealed on "90 Day Fiancé: Self Quarantined" that the two had since "forgiven each other." And it looks like they might even be friends now! "Look who came to Ohio today," Mullins recently posted on Instagram, alongside a photo of her with Jbali. "We have been through so much and are friends after everything, just shows anything is possible" (via In Touch).  

Some tell-all reactions are fake

Andrew Kenton (of Season 8 with then-fiancé Amira Lollysa) has had a lot to say about the TLC production since leaving. He's been vocal with his displeasure about the Tell-All editing. "Fun tell-all fact: I was only there for Mike Youngquist and Natalie Mordovtseva's segment. They are stretching my reactions so that it appears I was there longer. They have me reacting to things I didn't even know about! You are not watching a documentary!" he said on his Instagram Story (via In Touch).

The couple never made it down the aisle; they never even got to see each other in person during the season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their relationship ended through an ultimatum text from Kenton to Lollysa, "You have two tickets, two choices: you can choose your flight here or there" (via Screen Rant). She responded by choosing to go home instead of joining Kenton.

He has also accused TLC of "frankenbiting," which the Chicago Tribune explains is using a sound bite out of context to fabricate drama. A scene he sees as an example of this is when Lollysa has dinner with her father, and explains a loophole Kenton found on an online message board for K-1 visa applicants that would let them be together. "I've never been on a K-1 message board, but someone else was active. Mexico loophole was not my discovery," he wrote on a screenshot of the group, showing Lollysa's profile (per In Touch).

Cut and pasted dialogue creates controversy

Kalani Faagata from Season 6 of "90 Day Fiancé" received hate for comments she and her dad made about Samoan culture that she claims were "spliced together." Faagata responded to the outrage on Instagram, saying: "First, the part where I say, 'My dad didn't want us to struggle so he wanted us with white guys.' That is not what was said. Rule of thumb when watching reality TV: if you don't see it being said, chances are it was spliced together. I don't care if they edit my s*** to make me look a certain way — I signed up for the show. But I won't be quiet if they do that to make my dad look bad. Not today, or ever, Satan" (via In Touch). 

Couple Faagata and Asuelu Pulaa crossed paths in Somoa during Faagata's vacation; Pulaa worked at the resort where she was staying. The pair had a fun holiday romance that ended in a pregnancy. Shortly after, they started the process for Pulaa's K-1 visa, so he could move to be with his new family. The couple hit several rough patches but returned for "90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?" and had a second child. 

Many thought they would have split up due to their financial struggles and Asuelu's questionable parenting, but it seems the couple was still together in early 2022. But, split speculation continues, and In Touch confirmed that the couple's home was put up for sale in June 2022. 

Geoffrey Paschel's legal issues prevented him from filming the tell-all

"Before the 90 Days" couple Geoffrey Paschel and Varya Malina were MIA during the Season 4 tell-all, confusing viewers. Later, it was discovered that the reason for their absence was Paschel's ongoing legal case for aggravated kidnapping, domestic assault, interference with an emergency call, and vandalism charges. "I'm not sad that I wasn't on it. The mentality of keeping me off the tell-all because somebody said something is the most absurd thing I've ever heard in my life," Paschel said on Instagram live (via In Touch).

Paschel was later found guilty of all the charges involving his ex-fiancé Kristen Wilson. In Touch reported that during Wilson's emotional testimony, she outlined many moments where she experienced domestic abuse. His ex-wife Allison also took the stand to testify against him. In a surprising decision, Malina has stood by him during the process and says she will continue to do so while he's behind bars, despite the disturbing circumstances and backlash. 

Malina continues to post about their relationship, sharing on Instagram, "To be honest we didn't expect much from this sentencing. 18 years? Alright, we passed the bottom, that means there's only one way up! The grounds for the appeal became even stronger" (via In Touch).