Michael Jessen and Juliana Custodio, one of the newest 90 Day Fiancé couples to appear on the show, have been raising a lot of eyebrows. While their behavior has seemed pretty normal compared to couples in the past, there is a huge age difference between the two.
Jessen, 42, is almost twice Custodio’s 23 years of age. Many fans have been speculating about Jessen being a sugar daddy to Custodio, or a sleazy older man hunting down a younger woman. However, Jessen claims that’s anything but the case. Now, with Custodio in the United States, she’s getting even more flak — this time from Jessen’s ex-wife.
Michael Jessen defends his relationship
When Michael Jessen and Juliana Custodio were revealed on the new season of 90 Day Fiancé, many fans had a negative gut reaction. To them, Jessen and Custodio’s relationship echoed that of the stereotypical wealthy older man, seeking out a beautiful, younger woman.
Jessen says it’s not like that, however. Michael Jessen met Juliana Custodio during a yacht party in Croatia. It seems Jessen is not only wealthy, but also well-connected. Jessen says there were celebrities on the boat as well.
Jessen told People, “My fiancée’s name is Juliana. She’s from Goiania, Brazil. Juliana and I met on a big yacht party that a friend of mine was throwing in Croatia. There were a lot of celebrities there.”
The 90 Day Fiancé star told E! News, “It’s never bothered me at all because living in it, I understand it. And if I could understand from an outsider’s perspective there would be many judgments that people would leap to and that doesn’t bother me one bit. People are welcome to think, feel what they want to. We’re together, we love each other, it’s very much real.”
“We’ve made a very big decision to spend the rest of our lives together. The only person I care about when it comes to how they feel about our relationship is Juliana,” he added.
Michael Jessen gets roasted by his own kids
While Michael Jessen and Juliana Custodio weathered criticism and judgment from the 90 Day Fiancé fanbase, it seems as if Jessen also had to deal with some arch criticisms closer to home. And while fans might expect Jessen to receive some harsh judgment from his ex-wife, it was actually his young kids who roasted him thoroughly.
Michael Jessen has two children from his previous marriage — daughter CeCe and son Max. While the two might be young, they’re sharp. At one point, Max told his father of Custodio, “She’s closer in age to us than she is to you.” Max seemed to get a kick out of his own jab.
When talking to the camera, Max said, “Our dad’s fiancée, who’s from Brazil, is gonna be arriving in America for the first time, and we’re gonna meet her.”
CeCe added, “I was like, a little surprised. I was like, ‘That’s cool.’ I didn’t actually think that like, they would get married.”
“Yeah, me neither,” added Max.
CeCe said, “I thought it would just be, like, boyfriend and girlfriend for a little.”
“And then not boyfriend and girlfriend,” finished Max.
Juliana Custodio talks to Jessen’s ex-wife
It seems as if Michael Jessen and Juliana Custodio are trying to be very open and straightforward when it comes to integrating Custodio into the family. However, that doesn’t mean Custodio’s meeting with Jessen’s ex-wife was comfortable. In fact, it was a little awkward.
Jessen’s ex sat down for dinner with the kids, Jessen, and Custodio. She asked Jessen how he sees Custodio fitting into their family, and what her role might be.
Jessen replied, “Well…she’s not replacing you. I think, already in the very short period of time, the kids and Juliana have a good rapport. And I’m not going to put any pressure or burden on her.”
His ex-wife told Custodio, “The kids have great parents. Michael is a great father and I’m a great mom. And what I want from you is to not parent, at all.”
In a confessional next to both his ex-wife and Custodio, Jessen said, “The kids adore her, but I don’t think they would want anything else in life than to have Sarah as their mother.”
While the dinner and the confessionals were certainly awkward to watch, it did seem as if the family was working hard to establish boundaries and be reasonable with one another’s’ expectations. And as you can see from the Instagram video above, it seems as if Custodio has established a good relationship with Jessen’s kids.
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