'90 Day Fiance' star Michael Jessen: People can think whatever they want, Juliana Custodio de Sousa and I love each other -- it's "very much real!"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/09/2019
90 Day Fiance couple Michael Jessen and Juliana Custodio de Sousa met at a dinner party on a yacht in Croatia and fell in love despite being nearly 20 years apart in age, but Michael apparently couldn't care less what people have to say about his relationship.
Given Juliana, a 23-year-old model from Goiania, Brazil, met Michael, a 42-year-old self-employed investor from Greenwich, CT, some 90 Day Fiance viewers have been questioning Juliana's motives.
Viewers have speculated whether Juliana was in search of a wealthy man or was hoping to get a Green Card out of the deal, but Michael assured E! News in an interview he trusts Juliana.
"[The chatter has] never bothered me at all because living in it, I understand it... I could understand how from an outsider's perspective there would be many judgments that people would leap to, and that doesn't bother me one bit," Michael insisted.
"People are welcome to feel, think what they want to. We're together, we love each other, it's very much real."
Spoiler alert -- Michael seemed to confirm in the interview he's still together and happy with Juliana after filming 90 Day Fiance's seventh season for TLC.
"We've made a very big decision to spend the rest of our lives together," Michael said, seemingly suggesting he and Juliana got married once she came to the United States on a K-1 visa.
"And so I guess the only person I care about when it comes to how they feel about our relationship is Juliana."
After meeting in Croatia, Michael and Juliana experienced two difficult years of dating, during which they were both denied tourist visas, according to the New York Post.
"We were asked during Juliana's visa interview in Rio de Janeiro if she had worked as a prostitute within the last 10 years," Michael told the newspaper. "And, of course, the answer was no. She's not a prostitute!"
Juliana, however, wasn't the only person in the relationship to be asked "insulting" questions. Michael, for instance, said in the premiere of 90 Day Fiance's seventh season people probably view him as being "an old, sleazy rich guy" going after a beautiful young model.
But Michael said he loved how thoughtful and smart Juliana is, and he felt they connected as kindred spirits upon first meeting.
The rest of90 Day Fiance's season will show Juliana, a former seamstress who finally obtained her K-1 visa, arriving in the United States and trying to adjust to a new, normal life with Michael and his two children, Max and Cece, whom he had welcomed with his ex-wife Sarah.
Michael and Juliana hadn't talked much about how things were going to be or what was going to happen once she arrived in America, so he anticipated daily life might be a struggle for them and potentially a huge reality check for Juliana.
While the time Michael and Juliana had spent together was fun and exciting, Juliana had only seen pieces of Michael's life, but not the full scope of his responsibilities, including being a father.
Michael didn't anticipate Juliana would take on "a mother role," but Sarah feared she'd be a huge disruption in her children's lives. Sarah assumed living in America was going to be a "rude awakening" for Juliana.
Michael and Juliana only had 90 days from her point of entry into the United States to tie the knot, or else she'd have to return to her native country.
Michael said in 90 Day Fiance's premiere the chances of Juliana leaving him once she comes to the United States were "extremely small," but there was no telling what might happen.