When Part 1 of this season's Tell All began, Karine and Paul were conspicuously absent.
There was no explanation from the show's host. So what gives?
On Sunday, September 27, Tell All host Shaun Robinson offered the briefest of throwaway lines to explain why Season 5's end run was missing a couple.
"Unfortunately, Paul and Karine are not able to join us," she said briefly.
"But," Shaun continued, "we do wish them the best and hope they’re doing well."
That was not even close to an explanation of why they weren't at the Tell All.
It's not like it was a physical place this year. Everybody participated via Zoom.
So being in another country or unable to make the flight was not going to hold back anyone. Michael's livestream was, notably, from Nigeria.
Paul and Karine's issues had nothing to do with video conferencing or scheduling.
Instead, they had everything to do with the current controversy surrounding the couple and the accusations that the estranged couple have exchanged.
Right now, Paul and Karine are living apart and are scheduled to face off in court later this year over custody of their children.
In late July, Paul went live on Instagram to share video of police visiting the home that he shared with his wife, Karine, and their son, Pierre.
Apparently, police had been called on behalf of a pregnant Karine, who had a friend there to communicate with the police as she is not fluent in English.
While no one could wrap their heads around why Paul chose to share this with the world, this was only the beginning.
Karine took Pierre and left. She did not return to Brazil, and is said to be currently residing in Indiana.
Paul initially described Karine as "missing" and attempted to enlist his social media followers to track her down -- a genuinely scary prospect.
Karine was forced to take to Instagram to share that she was not missing, she was safe, and that police knew exactly where to get in touch with her.
Why was it scary that Paul seemed to be trying to exploit his fame to turn any random fan of his into a potential spy?
Because Karine, while not in hiding as far as the law is concerned, was specifically trying to avoid him.
Paul has a lengthy arrest history surrounding his alleged treatment of exes, and there are stories of him stalking, harassing, and damaging the property of exes -- and anyone who helped them escape.
And that ties into Karine's accusations against him.
In addition of her alarming accusations of abuse, there are other accusations that are every bit as unsettling.
She accused him of preventing her from leaving the house and of watching her every move.
Seeing the way that Paul reacted even on the show while cameras were running after Karine left the house once, it is not difficult for fans to imagine this.
He responded to her leaving the house with threats, resuding her to tears that he followed by forcing unwanted hugs upon her while she begged him to stop.
Even the time that she just went to sit on a park bench for some peace and quiet resulted in Paul awkwardly running after her.
Paul himself has admitted that his home is thoroughly surveilled with cameras.
While we do not begrudge anyone for engaging in home security, it sounds like the cameras may be indoors as well, based upon Paul's statements.
Everyone deserves privacy and peace of mind. It sounds like Karine had neither.
Right now, Karine and Paul both have restraining orders against each other.
It will take time and likely a lot of heartache until the courts decide upon custody.
TLC does not want to wait that long, and they clearly do not want another scandal such as when they employed unrepentant monster Geoffrey Paschel earlier this year.
As such, because of the drama and accusations of abuse within the marriage, the couple were not invited to the Tell All.
The same has reportedly happened with Deavan and Jihoon for The Other Way.
It's tough, but better to err on the side of caution than be forced to either discuss serious, even criminal accusations ... or irresponsibly gloss over them.