’90 Day Fiancé’: Why Was This Couple Turned Away From the Show?

Not everyone on TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé has a spotless past. From Jorge Nava of 90 Day Fiancé to Paul Staehle and Ronald Smith of the spinoff 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way, plenty of the show’s stars have a certain criminal history. 

However, if two recent Dr. Phil guests are telling the truth, it looks like TLC producers aren’t willing to let just anyone fight for their overseas love onscreen. A young woman who began filming for the franchise with her Brazilian online lover was turned away due to her fiancé’s criminal record. 

Dr. Phil and Jimmy Kimmel
Dr. Phil and Jimmy Kimmel | Randy Holmes via Getty Images

Dr. Phil interviewed a woman who was torn between two foreign fiancés

On Nov. 4 and a follow-up episode on Nov. 5, Dr. Phil interviewed a woman, Holly, who was trying to decide between two fiancés (both of whom she’d never met in person). 

For several years, Holly told Dr. Phil, she pursued an online romance with Keoma, a man from Brazil who is currently living in London. But after 90 Day Fiancé filming with Keoma fell through, she turned to Gunes, a Turkish man, for comfort. Eventually, Gunes proposed as well, and the pair made plans to marry.

Still, Holly never told either man that she was engaged to the other. And when all three of them appeared on Dr. Phil to hash things out, things got complicated fast. 

Holly and Keoma began filming for ’90 Day Fiancé’

Dr. Phil questioned Holly about her would-be reality TV career. “You were going to be on a show called 90 Fiancé?” he asked her. “But then they pulled that out from under you.”

Holly and Keoma, as it turns out, were planning to appear on the flagship TLC show. 

“I saw this reality show about couples from other countries that would apply for a visa for their fiance to come to the U.S.,” said Holly. “I decided to write them and see if they would take our story, and then they did.” But things didn’t turn out as they’d hoped. 

“Two days before I was supposed to fly out to Brazil, after four days of filming, I got a call from Keoma,” explained Holly on Dr. Phil. “And he said that they were cancelling filming, because they got his background check back and it turned out that, well, he was being accused of being a child molester.”

Dr. Phil clarified that the accusations were just that: accusations. “In his defense, those were allegations,” he said. “He was never charged, he was never convicted, nothing ever came of that.” Still, it seems the alleged crimes were serious enough that TLC producers shied away from allowing the couple to come on the show. 

Keoma claims the accusations were a setup 

When it came time to address the 90 Day Fiancé elephant in the room, Keoma defended himself, saying that there was no truth to the accusations. Instead, he told Dr. Phil he believed the allegations were part of a plot by his ex-girlfriend’s father to break them up. 

“In January of ‘16, there was a complaint filed through a hotline with accusations of child molestation and child pornography,” Dr. Phil started, allowing Keoma a chance to explain.

The Brazilian native claimed that he and his ex-girlfriend’s father had never gotten along throughout their six-year relationship. “This guy was always trying to destroy the relationship,” he claimed.

When Keoma was teaching English to children in Brazil, he was hit with accusations about inappropriate behavior. He alleged that his ex-girlfriend’s father might have paid off the mother of one of his students in exchange for making the allegations. Still, he wasn’t convicted, but the complaint was enough to make TLC turn away.

Holly even claimed that her second engagement was prompted by the cancellation of her appearance on 90 Day Fiancé. “The reality show cancelled our contract, and [TLC producers] told me to find another fiancé to do the show with.” That’s when she started chatting with Gunes in hopes of appearing on the show with him eventually. 

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TLC conducts background checks on all 90 Day Fiancé cast members

Background checks are an integral part of the vetting and casting process for every 90 Day Fiancé couple

As reported by E! News, TLC executive producer Matthew Sharp told Kate Casey on Reality Life with Kate Casey, “We have a big background vetting process for all the couples. And we make case-by-case evaluations on couples as we look at them.” 

He added that the show doesn’t outright reject everyone with a criminal history. “We’re trying to obviously do the right thing,” he told Casey. “We try to be open-minded…everyone’s got some sort of history.” 

90 Day Fiancé star Paul Staehle, who had charges of his own in his past, once explained a similar process on Facebook Live, as reported by In Touch Weekly. “So then they ran my criminal background check. That came back with a lot of questions. So production and TLC both did a very thorough background check on me,” he explained. 

He and the producers sat down together for in-depth conversations about his past, and they ultimately allowed him on the TLC show with his now-wife, Karine Martins. But it doesn’t look like the journey will end with wedding bells for Keoma and Holly (or, for that matter, reality television).