Paul Staehle is speaking out amid a worrisome and bizarre week involving the 90 Day Fiance alum.
As Monsters and Critics previously reported, Paul’s estranged wife, Karine Martins, hinted that Paul went missing in Brazil in a series of perplexing Instagram Story posts.
Paul’s supposed disappearance caused panic and concern among many 90 Day Fiance fans, who feared the worst. However, it was revealed that Paul was alive but possibly in danger.
Paul’s mom, Mary Staehle, confirmed to reality TV blogger John Yates that her son was alive and well after getting lost in the jungles of Brazil.
Days later, Yates took to YouTube to update his subscribers and revealed that Paul’s shenanigans were all for show.
“Paul made the whole thing up. He made the whole friggin’ thing up,” Yates claimed in the video.
After discovering what transpired, Paul’s trusted confidant lost faith in him after his Brazilian escapades, as did any 90 Day Fiance viewers who may have believed him and supported him throughout the ordeal.
But now, Paul says he was never actually missing and spoke with TMZ to offer his version of events.
Paul Staehle shares what he says happened when he went ‘missing’ in Brazil
When asked what exactly happened, the former TLC personality claimed, “Well, I had a lot going on, and I wanted to go out and be by myself for a little bit. So, a person who was a big fan of the show [90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days], they invited me to go out.”
Paul explained that he got into a canoe-type boat, and on the way to his destination, they encountered a “hiccup” and tried to call for help. Eventually, they got the boat operating again and traveled to a floating house, where he ended up staying for a few days.
According to the father of two, he didn’t have his phone charger with him at the time and had to travel to other floating houses to get a signal to eventually make a phone call after sending several texts to his mom.
When he was asked why he didn’t elaborate more about his situation when he texted his mom, Paul blamed a low phone battery and bad service.
Paul responds to the backlash from 90 Day Fiance fans
Paul then addressed his naysayers, who accused him of pulling a publicity stunt by faking his disappearance.
“No, if that was the case [that this was a hoax], I would have went on an Instagram Live, or I would have posted things,” Paul claimed. “I never wanted any of this stuff to go public… none of this stuff to go public.”
Paul also claimed that he had no clue that his mom would talk to people on social media during his absence. He said that when he got back and saw what was being posted online, he was surprised.
“Yeah, I just wanted to get away for a little bit and everything else, and then everything just kind of blew up. But no, I never wanted any of this stuff to go public like this.”
As far as neglecting to clear the air on his own social media accounts, Paul says that he felt it would have “added gasoline to all these different fires.”
Paul believes that regardless of what he would have said, people online would have “twisted and twirled” the facts around.
Paul added that he waited for everything to die down after everyone speculated about what was going on before he spoke his piece.
Karine accused of clout-chasing after reporting Paul ‘missing’
Not only did Paul come under fire for instigating a series of peculiar events, but so did his estranged wife, Karine. The Brazilian native was accused of using Paul’s “disappearance” as a way to garner attention for herself.
A fellow 90 Day Fiance alum, Cassia Tavares, from Season 2 of the flagship series, called out Karine for posting about Paul’s life insurance policy and supposedly faking a baby bump in recent Instagram Story photos instead of contacting the authorities to help find the father of her children.
90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days airs on Sundays at 8/7c on TLC.