“90 Day Fiancé” is a TLC reality series, which follows couples who have acquired, or are in the process of applying for, the K-1 visa granted to foreign fiancés of US citizens. The show has become a vital part of the reality TV landscape, as the couples are given just three months to marry and must overcome various hurdles – both legal and personal – as they figure out if their relationship is strong enough to withstand the curveballs that come their way.

The series premiered in January 2014 and is something of a pop culture phenomenon these days, with over nine seasons. Some of its spin-offs include “90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After”, which shows how the former couples have settled into married life; “90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days”, for those who are still in the online stages and haven’t begun applying for the K-1 visa; and “90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way”, where it’s the American partner moving to another country instead of vice versa. The franchise’s numerous shows are often referred to as the “90 Day Universe”.

The show’s premise is self-explanatory. Once the K-1 visa is obtained, the foreign fiancé can travel to the US, live with their future husband or wife, and have enough time to sort everything out before the big day. During the visa process, the couple must sign documents declaring their intent to marry; however, if three months pass and they still haven’t walked down the aisle, the foreign fiancé is forced to leave the States.

Paperwork and bureaucracy aren’t the only challenges these couples face. From language barriers to different cultures and, at times, rude friends and family, the would-be about-to-be-weds will have their work cut out

Geoffrey

In February 2022, numerous news outlets reported on “90 Day Fiancé” alum Geoffrey Paschel’s 18-year prison sentence without possibility of parole. The disgraced TV star was sentenced in Knoxville, Tennessee, and had spent four months in custody after being found guilty of domestic assault, aggravated kidnapping, and interference with emergency calls.

The TLC personality’s arrest stemmed from a disturbing incident in June 2019 involving his ex-fiancée, Kristen Wilson. Police responded to a domestic disturbance call, and were told by Kristen that Geoffrey had assaulted her in her home. According to Kristen, her ex-fiancé had grabbed her by the neck and slammed her head against a wall several times before throwing her to the floor and dragging her. Geoffrey also allegedly took Kristen’s phone away and refused to let her leave the house, but once he fell asleep, Kristen escaped and found refuge at a neighbor’s home.

Kristen was diagnosed with a concussion after the horrifying incident, while officers confirmed that they were visible abrasions and bruises on her body. Geoffrey defended himself during the trial by claiming that these injuries were self-inflicted.

I am speechless…I really am. My motivation throughout my adult life was my responsibility of being a parent, a good…

Posted by Geoffrey Paschel on Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Geoffrey was known by viewers of the “90 Day Universe” after appearing in season four in 2020 of “Before the 90 Days”. On the show, he was engaged to Varya Malina, but his legal issues prevented him from any further dealings with TLC. During an Instagram Live in June 2020, Geoffrey scathingly said: “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.”

Despite not confirming whether she and Geoffrey were still together, Varya was present during his sentencing, and kept her social media followers up to date about the TV personality. In a December 2021 post, she wrote: “Last night while talking on the phone, Geo mentioned that he’s using this time now to finally slow down and re-evaluate what’s important in his life and focus on it… He always sees positive aspects in everything that happens in his life. We are so alike in this exact way.” Needless to say, the Russian native’s Instagram followers weren’t impressed by her devotion.

Geoffrey was denied parole due to his criminal history, which included convictions for federal drug trafficking, possession with intent to sell Schedule II cocaine, and possession with intent to sell a Schedule I controlled substance. In the late 1990s, he was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days in prison, after pleading guilty.

Three key witnesses testified during the first day of Geoffrey’s trial in early 2022: Kristen, the neighbor that made the 911 call when Kristen came to their house, and the officer who responded to the incident. Meanwhile, Geoffrey defended his innocence until the very last moment, and referred to the media attention that the case was attracting as “the viral spread of sensationalized opinions and lazy, one sided, internet reporting meant only for clickbait”.

As for Varya, she has been lambasted for romanticizing her and Geoffrey’s relationship, and retelling her story on TikTok and other social media platforms. The brunette has over 315,000 Instagram followers as of November 2022 and is, for now, Geoffrey’s number one fan and supporter while he serves his long sentence.

Controversial Couples

You’ll be pleased to know that not every couple in the “90 Day Fiancé” universe ends up like Geoffrey and Varya; in fact, most of them have healthy relationships, and have formed adorable families together since participating in the show. However, this is reality TV, and viewers enjoy seeing mismatched and dysfunctional couples just as much as well-balanced ones.

First on the list are Big Ed Brown and Rosemarie Vega. They were first introduced to viewers in “Before the 90 Days”, and with Big Ed being such an unlikeable character, it didn’t take long for the internet to turn his and Rosemarie’s awkward interactions into viral memes. Big Ed was decades older than Rosemarie, and made several comments about her living situation, body, and appearance which didn’t go down well with the viewing public.

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In the end, Rosemarie broke up with Big Ed and moved on to better things. The last straw was when Big Ed confessed to having lied about wanting more children, which was non-negotiable for Rosemarie. We’re not sure about Rosemarie’s current relationship status, but Big Ed has since been criticized for his “creepy and uncomfortable” relationship with Liz Woods on “90 Day: The Single Life”.

If Big Ed and Rosemarie’s age gap wasn’t bad enough, Mark and Nikki Shoemaker alarmed viewers even more. Nikki was barely legal when she began talking to Mark, a divorced father in his late 50s, on a dating website; the beautiful brunette would travel to the US to be with her boyfriend at the frighteningly young age of 19.

What concerned viewers even more was Mark’s derogatory and condescending treatment of Nikki, who was actually and younger than all his children. Nikki was accused by many of being a mail order bride, whereas Mark was lambasted for possibly grooming her. Against all odds, the couple married in 2016 – and filed a lawsuit against TLC in 2017 due to how they were portrayed in the show.

The lawsuit was thrown out in December 2017, as the contract Nikki and Mark had signed clearly stated that TLC producers could edit the footage however they liked. During his time in the show, Mark was ridiculed for giving Nikki the same car he’d given his ex-wife, demanding a pre-nup, and blowing up on his young bride-to-be for leaving fingerprints on a car window. Given their vast differences, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Nikki and Mark’s divorce was finalized in March 2022.

Third on the list are Brittany and Yazan, whose whirlwind relationship was doomed to fail almost from the very beginning. Despite Yazan heroically risking his life for Brittany and demonstrating his love in many different ways, Brittany was totally unwilling to compromise for him.

Brittany’s toxic behavior – and the fact that she was still married when she began dating Yazan – didn’t earn her many fans; she was accused of only appearing in the show to boost her fledgling rap career. Understandably, Yazan’s parents didn’t approve of the relationship, which didn’t last long.

If you thought Brittany and Yazan were mismatched, Lisa and Usman were even more so. Their relationship began on Facebook, and Lisa, who was 20 years older than the Nigerian, was distrustful of her future husband and had issues with her confidence and self-image. In fact, the pair would argue about pretty much everything, with Lisa being described as a “miserable person inside and out” by netizens.

Lisa was criticized for not accepting Usman’s culture or believing in his dream – a career as an R&B and hip hop musician – but Usman wasn’t much better: the only reason he wanted the K-1 visa in the first place was to accommodate himself in America and be better placed to promote his career. Ultimately, Lisa and Usman broke up in winter 2020.

Michael and Angela are another wildly unsuitable couple whose motives have been questioned due to the lack of affection in the relationship. Angela is older than Michael but often displays her lack of maturity; like Lisa, she’s also wildly insecure and constantly checks to make sure that Michael isn’t talking to other ladies. Despite Michael doing what he can to salvage the failing relationship, Angela is full of criticism and disdain for him.

However, Michael’s not perfect either. He shows practically no interest in Angela, with whom he has had many iconic arguments and fiascos throughout the series: in fact, many fans believe that he only married her for the green card, and is biding his time until he can leave.

Nicole and Azan also made themselves notoriously unpopular from the very beginning. The foundations of their relationship were shaky at best – they met after connecting via a dating ap, and Azan was shocked and not at all pleased to see Nicole’s full body, accusing her of catfishing him – and Nicole was lambasted for leaving her young child at home to fly to Morocco to see Azan.  After five torturous years in which both parties tried and failed to make things work, Nicole and Azan went their separate ways.

Without a doubt, Jorge and Anfisa are amongst the most hated couples in the “90 Day Universe”. Both would manipulate and use each other to their advantage; Jorge lied to Anfisa about his financial security but was secretly swimming in debt, whereas Anfisa was the show’s resident gold-digger whose only concern was having the finer things in life. Surprisingly enough, the unlikely pair married despite their explosive arguments and abhorrent tantrums, but Jorge filed for divorce in 2020, claiming that Anfisa was seeing another guy.

Colt and Larissa’s relationship was also based on lies and promises that the couple couldn’t keep. Colt was accused of being manipulative after making Larissa believe that he had a stable job – when in reality, he lived with his mother and even shared a bank account with her. Larissa, who was only interested in a luxury lifestyle, was less than impressed when the truth came out. The couple’s arguments would often spiral out of control, and Colt was once forced to call the police on Larissa, who had been convicted of several crimes before appearing in the show.

Leida and Eric are the perfect example of how not to blend families. Both had children from previous relationships, but while Leida wanted Eric to accept hers, she was completely unwilling to accept his. In fact, the villainous TV stepmother obtained a restraining order against Eric’s daughter Tasha, and kicked her out of the house. Meanwhile, Eric was weak-willed and would allow Leida to walk all over him – and his children – and belittle him in front of other people. Unsurprisingly, they’re no longer believed to be together.

Last but not least are Ashley and Jay, who became engaged after dating for less than a week. Jay was 20 years old at the time – 11 years Ashley’s junior – and soon cheated on his wife-to-be, who was highly insecure and even threatened to have Jay deported during an unpleasant argument. Their relationship was a distressing rollercoaster from start to finish, but somehow, they became married – and divorced just as quickly.

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