A “90 Day Fiancé” couple confirmed they are heading for divorce after just two years of marriage.
Season 7 couple Michael Jessen and Juliana Custodio are splitting up, according to a lengthy and quickly deleted social media post written by Jessen on the couple’s second wedding anniversary, October 12, 2021. Jessen, 44, called the marriage “a Covid-19 casualty that will not be showing up in any statistics,” according to In Touch Weekly.
“Thankfully, you are quickly emerging healthier and stronger than ever. Some of the rest of us will likely be staying in intensive care for quite some time. … You … possess a natural and an incredibly beautiful joy, happiness, and positivity that made me fall in love with you the first time we were ever together. Those of us who truly know you realize that the beauty inside of you is even more incredible than your beauty on the outside,” he continued in the post, In Touch Weekly reported.
He indicated the coronavirus pandemic strained their relationship, writing:
“I understand how our situation throughout the pandemic could slowly, and eventually completely, drain you of these qualities. All of us were completely drained by the end of it and I did not maintain the strength of mind and the fortitude to be the husband that you wanted me to be. The stress and the pressure of providing for everyone got the better of me and I did not take care of myself. All along, I failed to recognize that you were there for me. I do not blame you for wanting to leave and for desiring a new start.”
According to Jessen’s post, Custodio has already “moved on” from their brief marriage.
“I am happy that you have moved on and have quickly found someone new. I hope that you will have lasting love and happiness and achieve every dream that you set out upon. If anyone can do it, it is you, and I will always be rooting for you,” he wrote, according to In Touch Weekly. “I will remain with you in the wonderful memories that we shared together. My heart is broken.”
Custodio Took to Instagram to Share Her Version of the Split
Shortly after news of the split was made public, Custodio, 25, made her own statement on Instagram about the breakup on October 13, denying she’s “found someone new.”
“You pointed the COVID-19 as one of the reasons we are no longer together, but we all know that there are more than that. I am grateful for all the lessons and the moments we got to spend together and the beautiful memories with your family,” she wrote.
Custodio wrote that “it was not a problem for me to help you, the kids, ex-wife and her husband financially because I was the only one working at the time, but we all know how the situation wears out. I wasn’t part of the family anymore, I was feeling like a maid,” adding, “I left my life in Europe and career to live with you, because I love you. But I love myself more, to the point to recognize I am important and I want to be happy.”
Rather than a new partner, she wrote, “I found happiness within myself.”
“Girls and boys,” her post continued, “if you’re in a relationship with you’re not happy and you know it doesn’t matter what you do, this will not work out, stand up for yourself! … No one saves us but ourselves. … Don’t be afraid to start over. It’s a brand new opportunity to rebuild what you truly want. Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be!”
Custodio had given fans clues about the breakup before it was officially announced, according to Screen Rant. In late September, Custodio shared a now-deleted TikTok video saying, “Everybody keep asking me if I’m still married. It’s really hard and I’m not ready to talk yet. So when you guys find out, you guys going to hate me forever. Everybody is going to hate me forever,” the outlet reported. Earlier social media posts also hinted at the breakup, Screen Rant reported, including “content that did not feature her wearing her wedding ring.”
Fans Were Critical About Jessen’s Friendship With His Ex-Wife
Jessen and Custodio made an intriguing couple from the start of their relationship on “90 Day Fiancé” in late 2019. As a wealthy, divorced American father of two in a relationship with a Brazilian model 19 years younger, he acknowledged at the time that he may be perceived as an “old, sleazy rich guy,” Soap Dirt reported at the time.
“Its been suggested by the ’90 Day Fiance’ community at large that Michael Jessen could be her sugar daddy. And, that she may be using him to further her career,” the outlet wrote.
In a 2019 interview with The Cinemaholic, Custodio indicated “it was almost love at first sight” when the two first met, seated across from each other at “one of Michael’s yacht parties in Croatia.”
“When I saw his green eyes and smile, I just melted,” she told the outlet. “I really wanted to talk to him, but I couldn’t speak English at the time.” After Custodio was unable to obtain a tourist visa, the couple got engaged and applied for a K-1 visa, according to The Cinemaholic, and “thus their grand entry in the show.”
When Jessen introduced the “90 Day Fiancé” audience to his ex-wife and the mother of his two children, Sarah Jessen, many fans found the relationship among the three adults odd, especially when Sarah Jessen officiated the new couple’s 2019 wedding, according to Showbiz Cheat Sheet.
According to The Cinemaholic, Custodio almost immediately “managed to earn Michael’s ex’s resentment” after she put makeup on one of Jessen’s children. “What I want from you is to not parent,” Sarah Jessen said to Custodio in one episode. But Jessen said at the time that the apparent tension was created by “TLC’s editing choices,” Showbiz Cheat Sheet reported.
“Juliana and I are extremely close and I hope the producers will end up showing how our relationship has evolved and you will stay tuned with an open mind and heart,” Sarah Jessen wrote on Facebook, as reported by Reality TV World.