The untold truth of Chantel Jimeno

Chantel Jimeno was known as Chantel Everett when she and then-fiancé Pedro Jimeno were introduced in the fifth season of TLC reality show 90 Day Fiancé. The pair were one of several couples attempting to navigate the tricky situation of an American falling in love with and potentially marrying someone on a K-1 visa, which allows a foreigner and their significant other just 90 days to seal the deal and get married.

"Chantel and Pedro met when Chantel's former Spanish teacher introduced her to Pedro via Facebook to help her learn the language," TLC's description of the couple explained. "Upon meeting, they fell in love quickly and Pedro proposed to Chantel and moved to the U.S. for her." Since marrying, the two stars have found life difficult "because Chantel's family doesn't trust Pedro after they lied about their engagement."

Since her first season on the show, Chantel has gone on to become one of TLC's most popular reality stars, yet there's still a lot that fans can learn about her.

TLC featured Chantel Jimeno and her beau in their own special

Based on their popularity on the original 90 Day Fiancé, which is super entertaining despite being considered one of the worst shows on TLC, Pedro and Chantel Jimeno next appeared on 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After. This led to a special focused on the couple, Pedro and Chantel: The Full Story. The special covered everything since Chantel essentially kicked off her celebrity with one whopper of a fib, telling her family that Pedro was visiting on a student visa. But, in reality, she had brought him over on a K-1. As fans may remember, when she finally worked up the nerve to come clean, they had less than a week to get hitched or else Pedro would be sent back. Spoiler alert: Her parents were not thrilled.

The Full Story also followed Chantel's family as they visited the Dominican Republic for a second wedding, and there were multiple cultural clashes between Chantel and Pedro's families. "From falling in love in the Dominican Republic to her family's ugly reaction to their engagement, we'll see that Chantel and Pedro's happily ever after wasn't easy," noted the summary for the special.

Why Pedro and Chantel Jimeno were tapped for their own spinoff

During their first season on the show, Pedro and Chantel Jimeno — and let's not forget their fighting families — quickly became 90 Day Fiancé fan favorites. In April 2019, TLC announced that the couple would be at the center of a new spinoff, The Family Chantel.

"This is an awesome moment for TLC, as we create a family show based on one of our most popular 90 Day couples," said TLC president Howard Lee. "Our fans can't get enough of Pedro, Chantel and their larger-than-life families. For a brand known as THE destination for love, relationships and family shows, The Family Chantel hits the bullseye."

As TLC's announcement explained, viewers wanted more of the couple and the network promised to give fans what they wanted. "Pedro and Chantel have weathered major marital ups and downs involving everything from feisty family members to their own trust issues," TLC noted. "Viewers will follow this unique modern family as they try to move past their differences and come together as an extended family, but as Chantel's parents Karen and Thomas try to protect their brood, will they push their children too far?"

Chantel Jimeno was a 90 Day Fiance fan before joining the show

Chantel Jimeno is now one of the most popular personalities to emerge from TLC's 90 Day Fiancé franchise, but, before she and Pedro were cast, she was actually just a fan of the show who was going through the same thing as the couples she watched on TV. 

"I used to watch 90 Day Fiancé while Pedro and I were dating," she revealed in an interview with E! News. "I really wanted to be a part of the show because I wanted to show everybody how perfect I thought my relationship was."

The TLC star elaborated in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. "Before I would watch the show and look at the situations the couples were going through, I'd think, 'Oh, we're nothing like that. Our love is perfect. We're going to have a fantasy life,'" she explained. "Once I got on the show, I realized no relationship is perfect. We have our flaws. A lot of them too ... It's hard to watch during those difficult moments of your life."

Chantel Jimeno launched her own company with her husband

A couple weeks after TLC announced plans for The Family Chantel, the couple registered a company together, Pedro & Chantel LLC. According to records obtained by InTouch, the company was launched on April 23, 2019.

While there was no more information available about the new corporate entity and its purpose, fans were understandably curious about the duo's decision to step into business together given the rocky relationship that was portrayed in the first season of The Family Chantel, which premiered in July 2019.

Viewers can only guess what Chantel Jimeno's parents would think about their daughter going into business with Pedro Jimeno, given their suspicions that he's a gold-digger whose mother groomed him to gain citizenship by dating an American girl. In fact, with Chantel's folks having declared that Pedro only wants to "harvest the American dollar" from "stupid Americans" (via Newsweek), it doesn't seem particularly likely they'd be onboard with their daughter having a business with their son-in-law.

Latin music helped Chantel Jimeno overcome cultural differences with her husband

One of the many challenges that Pedro and Chantel Jimeno face in their relationship is the language barrier, as Chantel's command of Spanish is serviceable but not great, while Pedro's English is somewhat rudimentary. The couple spoke to E! News about their cultural differences, with Pedro admitting he sometimes has a tough time determining why "sometimes something's wrong for me, it's not wrong for her."

One way they were able to bridge the gap was through music. "He would send me, while we were dating, all sorts of little Latin music, Latin love songs," Chantel revealed with a smile. "It was so cute."

While Pedro and Chantel managed to overcome at least some of the divide between their respective cultures, that was definitely not the case for Chantel's family when they visited Pedro's family in the Dominican Republic. Their horrified reactions when they were served hasadura (a.k.a. chicken necks) told viewers pretty much all they needed to know. It made for one of the most uncomfortable moments on 90 Day Fiancé.

Is Chantel Jimeno ready to have a baby?

Fans of The Family Chantel began wondering if Pedro and Chantel Jimeno saw themselves starting a family anytime soon, and the couple approached the topic when they answered viewer mail in a video shared on Facebook. "So what's next?" Chantel asked Pedro. "A house? A baby?" As Pedro balked, she whined, "Please!" After Pedro explained he didn't feel ready, Chantel fired back, "You're never truly ready, and we're not getting any younger." Pedro, however, insisted they should wait until she finished school and he completed his studies, which caused Chantel to snipe about her husband's "budget" — or, as she clarified, "your mama's budget," presumably referencing the money he sends to his family in the Dominican Republic.

The couple was also asked the baby question during an interview with E! News, and Pedro likewise shut down any talk of having children. "The factory is closed right now, you know," he declared, "because we have too many problems with our families right now." He added, "If we have children that could affect them."

Chantel Jimeno took to social media after her altercation with Pedro's dance partner

One of the most jaw-dropping moments in The Family Chantel came in the first season's finale, when Chantel Jimeno confronted Coraima, the woman with whom Pedro Jimeno had been dancing in a club. Viewers watched the conversation deteriorate, with Coraima insulting Chantel for her "10 pounds of fake hair" and "fake eyelashes" before Chantel fired back by telling Coraima she should shave her mustache, as reported by InTouch. At that point, drinks were thrown and the usual ultra-volatile reality show nuttiness ensued.

Chantel later took to Instagram, where she responded to comments from viewers asking about the fracas, as reported by InTouch. One comment read, "Line of the night 10 pounds of fake hair!" Chantel clapped back, "Because she wears it too and his sister, and everyone else." Another comment referenced Chantel's mustache dig, leading her to respond, "It's the style there." Yikes.

Despite Chantel's suspicions, TLC clarified the nature of Pedro's relationship with Coraima via Twitter. "Before marrying Chantel, Pedro met Coraima while she was in college...," the network tweeted. "Nothing ever happened between them."

Chantel Jimeno shared her theory on why people watch 90 Day Fiance

The Family Chantel is one of many spinoffs of 90 Day Fiancé, which, since the original show's debut in 2014, has arguably become TLC's most successful franchise.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Chantel Jimeno shared her theory on why 90 Day Fiancé and its myriad spinoffs have become so popular with viewers. "It's a relatable show," she said. She shared a similar sentiment in a video interview with E! News. "With how diverse America is, you're bound to meet people from other cultures, and there's always gonna be some differences," Chantel explained.

Pedro Jimeno also shared his view about why the show and its spinoffs have become such big hits. "I think it's [because of] the love, you know," he explained. "I think sometimes you find somebody in another part of the world, and you get in love with that kind of person, you try to get close. ... It's like they get together for the love."

Chantel Jimeno admitted she and Pedro have their "challenges"

Anyone who's watched the ups and downs between Pedro and Chantel Jimeno play out on 90 Day Fiancé and The Family Chantel are well aware that the couple's relationship has been a rocky one. Speaking with E! News, Chantel admitted that it has not been smooth sailing for her and her husband. "We have our differences that we're still working on. We have our challenges, but that's something that will play out on the show," Chantel said.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Chantel said that anyone considering following a similar path to the one that she and Pedro took may want to take a pause and consider what they're getting into. "I would say get to know the person before the 90 days," she said, pointing out that, while she doesn't regret her quick marriage to Pedro, she thinks others may want to wait a bit longer than she did. "That way, you would have as much information about this person as possible before you make a commitment that could potentially change your life, for better or for worse," she said.

Chantel Jimeno revealed she, Pedro, and their families would attend family counseling

The relationship that Pedro and Chantel Jimeno's parents have with each other is at the heart of The Family Chantel, but it's also a toxic and highly distrustful one. As a result, Chantel revealed in an interview with Hollywood Life, "Since our families are a big problem that's affecting our relationship, we will be attending family counseling."

As for her relationship with husband Pedro, she admitted, "We're still working on it. We are still working on trying to keep things between Pedro and I and not letting the outside world affect us, especially when it comes to our families and people who love us and have strong opinions about what we should be doing."

And the 90 Day Fiancé star pointed out, The Family Chantel is a "show about two families from two different cultures but we're trying to make it work." 

Chantel Jimeno bashed her in-laws on social media

There is no love lost between the dueling families of Pedro and Chantel Jimeno, and that also appears to be the case when it comes to Chantel's own opinion of her in-laws.

She made that beyond clear in a video she posted on Instagram. The video begins with a handwritten card reading, "How God Made My In-Laws." This is followed by a series of other cards, beginning with one reading "Caring." On this one, a spoon pours a few grains of rice onto the word. Next comes a card that reads "Loving," upon which is also spooned a few paltry grains of rice. This is followed by cards reading "Supportive" and "Nice," each of which receive the same few grains of rice.

Finally, one last card appears, on which is written, "Rude and Fake." Suddenly, the cheery background music becomes discordant noise as Chantel dumps an entire bag of rice onto the card. Tell us how you really feel, Chantel!

Chantel Jimeno has become a social media influencer

Fans of 90 Day Fiancé and The Family Chantel who follow Chantel Jimeno on Instagram may have noticed that she's become something of a social media influencer thanks to her role on the shows, in much the same way that fellow reality TV stars like Khloé Kardashian and Kylie Jenner are paid by companies to promote their products to their followers. 

In fact, interspersed amongst Chantel's selfies, vacation shots, and random Instagram posts are endorsements for various brands, including Teami Blends, which produces "wellness and skincare solutions inspired by the health benefits of tea." In one post, she noted that one of the company's smoothies is "packed with 16 superfoods which is SO important — I've noticed a difference in my digestion, and I feel more energized throughout the day since I'm fueling my body with the best!"

Other products that Chantel has promoted on Instagram include a line of cosmetics, a "non-GMO, organic/vegan, biodegradable, non-toxic" spray that "makes your clothes resistant to germs and reduces their transmission," and even a mud mask.

Chantel Jimeno responded to plastic surgery rumors

Faithful viewers of 90 Day Fiancé and its spinoffs may have noticed that there appears to be more of Chantel Jimeno than there used to be in the cleavage department. As a result, some of her social media followers began to speculate about whether she'd had some sort of breast augmentation surgery. In January 2019, she shut down those rumors by posting a split image of a recent photo and another taken 10 years earlier, with her chest similarly sized in both, writing, "And the answer to your boob question is..."

Despite Chantel's apparent denial, at least one of her 90 Day Fiancé co-stars remained doubtful. As Life & Style reported, during an episode of 90 Day Fiancé: Pillow Talk, various cast members from the franchise were watching footage of Chantel when the topic of her chest came up. "These f***ing boobs, they're like, ridiculous," quipped Loren Brovarnik, who's part of one of the best 90 Day Fiancé couples. "She definitely got them done."

While Loren's husband, Alexei Brovarnik, wasn't so sure, Loren was adamant that Chantel's cleavage was the result of a surgeon's handiwork.

Even Chantel Jimeno can't believe how crazy her family life can get

While viewers who've been following along with Pedro and Chantel Jimeno by watching 90 Day Fiancé and The Family Chantel may find all the explosive drama hard to believe, Chantel has admitted that she sometimes feels the same way — but she insisted that it's all 100 percent real. 

"Everything is authentic," Chantel told Access of what viewers have witnessed on the show, as downright chaotic as it has sometimes been. "Sometimes I can't even believe that this craziness is my life," she added. "And especially living it on television in front of everybody can be tough at times."

However, Chantel also believes that many people's lives would look equally bonkers if their every move was documented by TV cameras. "When you're on the outside looking in, you are judgmental to the people on the screen, thinking that it couldn't possibly be you," she explained. "But being on this show has made me see that my relationship isn't perfect. Neither is anyone else's. The only difference is mine is on TV for everyone to see."

Chantel Jimeno shared her "dream fantasy" for TLC's The Family Chantel

Whatever lies in store for the pair, Chantel Jimeno promised that she would go on to share her life in the same unvarnished, warts-and-all manner to which fans are accustomed.

"We are dynamic people, human beings, we are complex, and it's not always happy moments, but we cherish those," she told Access, explaining what she would ultimately like people to take away from the show. "I hope someone can learn from our conflicts and our struggles and mistakes."

Chantel also shared her own personal desire for what she hopes to see the show bring about in her own life. "It is a dream fantasy that all of our family members get along," she added. "That's what this whole Family Chantel is really about, is the desire for an intercultural family to be in harmony, and it's tough. It's difficult. It's a struggle."