Finally, finally, Deavan Clegg is divorced from Jihoon Lee more than two years after they parted ways for good.
It turns out that their breakup happened several months before anyone realized — but they didn’t share their breakup because they wanted to finish filming the season.
Deavan can finally speak about her former marriage, why she got full custody, and more.
While the worst of it was real, she admits that a lot of the drama that she and Jihoon filmed would never have happened if they weren’t doing the show.
The abuse and the ghosting of Taeyang were never revealed to 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way viewers.
A lot of what we saw, from Jihoon’s proposal to a pregnant Deavan to their Korean wedding in South Korea, were staged.
While Deavan freely acknowledges that her experience was not universal, she says that a lot of drama was just to keep her and Jihoon on the show to pay off debts.
Deavan’s Instagram Q&A this week revealed that, in October, it will have been two full years since Jihoon even attempted to speak to Taeyang.
This confirms what fans who have watched both exes on social media suspected.
It is also, Deavan explained, a key reason for why she received full custody. It’s as if she was awarded custody by default.
The apparent lack of interest in contacting Taeyang is not exclusive to Jihoon.
Deavan shared that his parents have not reached out in any way, despite having her contact info, since she left Korea two years ago.
She has more to say about that, including cultural factors that might have led to Taeyang’s ghosting, below.
Deavan admitted that she and Jihoon did not really have an emotional connection.
Instead, after she became pregnant and they were pressured into a relationship, they signed up to the show for the money.
90 Day Fiance very infamously does not pay new cast members much at all, but it seemed worthwhile at the time.
After Jihoon became abusive, Deavan explained, she had him stay with his parents.
However, even though they broke up in November (of 2019), they knew that they had to finish filming if they wanted to get paid.
Many of us already knew that their final episode of The Other Way was bogus, but we didn’t know that it was that bogus.
Remember the Tea House scene? Deavan shares that their real relationship was over at this point.
That means that their Korean wedding was also staged.
Note that she doesn’t seem to be accusing production of plotting out, let alone "scripting," anything … just of pressuring them to keep filming, and only paying them after.
Because Deavan had already married Jihoon at his parents’ insistence and had no real intention of moving to Korea, most of the Season 1 drama was phony.
But Deavan and Jihoon apparently hoped that real feelings would come later — which honestly explains so much about their dysfunctional and miserable relationship.
Again, she explained that they kept filming to get paid.
Another major factor for custody of Taeyang (aside from one party seeming entirely disinterested) was residence.
He spent most of his life with his mom, in the United States.
It would have been disorienting to move him to South Korea, even if Jihoon or his family had wanted custody.
Deavan admitted that Taeyang probably does not remember Jihoon, since he has not seen him since he was a 13-month-old baby.
Topher Park is Deavan’s partner, and Taeyang thinks of him as a parent — even crying for him more than for Deavan.
This, Deavan explained, is what Jihoon decided when he didn’t accept offers to see, have a relationship with, or even speak to his son.
Deavan suspects that, even if she had remained in Korea indefinitely, Jihoon would have behaved the same way.
Culturally, she explained, some divorces end like this, with people writing off their ex and a child with them like a bad memory and moving on.
It’s not universal, but it’s something that she is aware of in Korea and it’s clearly what she experienced.
Deavan would love for Taeyang to have a relationship with his grandparents.
However, perhaps in solidarity with their son or perhaps for their own reasons, they have not reached out.
She emphasized that her kids do have a great support network with her family (Taeyang has been spending quality time with Elicia recently), which has to be enough.
So does this blow the lid off of the 90 Day Fiance franchise? Not exactly.
Deavan and Jihoon’s experience is far from universal, and we all knew about a lot — but not all — of this before Deavan spoke out.
It also sounds like Deavan and Jihoon and their desire to get paid was a driving force behind a good portion of their storyline, rather than production penning a "script" for them to follow.
Production is known for meddling, but usually it is by asking leading questions, asking people to rephrase, or asking the cast’s friends to stir the pot.
What’s more alarming, albeit not surprising, is Deavan describing production asking if she’d film more even after they knew of the abuse.
Reality television genuinely, desperately needs legal regulation for the protection of the people being filmed and to give transparency to viewers.