Posted Tuesday, December 19, 2017 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
On Sunday night's episode, the producers of TLC's "90 Day Fiance" were caught by surprise when Woodstock entrepreneur Molly Hopkins informed them that she was actually married to her Dominican Republic mate Luis Mendez.
In an interview and on camera, she wasn't very clear in terms of why she chose to hide her marriage from the producers, saying, "It didn't dawn on me. I didn't think.. I wasn't trying to scam anyone."
She said they had met with a women who was supposed to marry them to go over vows and decided then and there to just sign paperwork to be married on paper. This enabled him to stay in the U.S. immediately instead of just 90 days. "Luis pressured me," she said. "It was really rough, the pressure of getting him over here. We only had a certain amount of time."
She also didn't bother to tell her dad and her oldest daughter Olivia, who obviously didn't take it well, feeling betrayed.
Molly blamed some of her decision-making on fatigue as she juggled work running LiviRae Lingerie, Luis and her two daughters. "It was such a blur looking back at some of the things we filmed," she said today. "Did we really film that? What did we do? I was in a stupor and a total fog. That's the truth."
In the end, she and Luis chose not to have a real wedding or honeymoon, looking to save money instead. "He can't really travel yet though we could within the U.S. We're still trying to get everything settled."
The age difference between Molly (42) and Luis (26) came into play during the season. He tried to bond with her two daughters but they resisted his entreaties. He quickly got bored and questioned her faith. He seemed immature. When he suggested her teen daughter have sex with her boyfriend using some rather specific terms, viewers recoiled. And Molly watched it for the first time as everyone else did.
"That was somewhat disturbing to me," Hopkins said. "I'm in the business of trying to protect women. I was really shocked by the conversation. I don't want people to see that and think she's okay with that. I do love my kids. I'm around a lot of women."
After she booted him out of the house during Sunday's episode, he did eventually return for the reunion show but chose not to sit with her. "She try and me too work out the relationship for doing everything better," he said on the show. "I just want to be cool with her [Olivia] and Molly."
They remain together for now. She said he is taking online classes, helping around the house and working out a lot at the gym.
"It's still a work in progress," she said, of their relationship and his adjustment to America.
She knew Luis would have a tough time going from the laid-back single bartender beach life to a suburbia with no car, no job, no beach. But it was "more than I anticipated. We're on a schedule. We get kids ready. We come home. We clean. We have to pay the bills and keep it moving."
It's unclear if her daughters see Luis yet as their stepdad in any real way. That may take awhile. "They spend a lot of time with my brother," she said.
And her skeptical father? "He pretty much feels the same. He's the same man the whole life. Very direct, very matter of fact. My dad really loves me. He really wants the best for not just me but Luis as well."
Would she and Luis come back for a second season of scrutiny (and the extra paycheck?)
She wouldn't commit one way or another. "It depends on where my future lies and what is going on," she said. "It's a possibility. I really don't know. While I love my family, you know my business is so important to me."
At the same time, she joked, "I may want someone else to take on the role of resident cry baby!"
Good news: she managed to keep her tear ducts in order watching the finale. "It was just me in a chair eating ice cream. I was doing Breyer's; I was not the crier."
Since the show focused on multiple couples, Molly said the shooting burden was nearly as large as it was on Lifetime's "Double Divas," which focused on her bra-fitting shop.
She also didn't judge the other couples. "I can understand their different levels of frustration. We all have common ground. We all want to be loved and accepted. And the pressure to figure this stuff out is not easy. It's not easy when you have people who think they are doing things in your best interest. We struggle with getting acceptance from friends and family."
Molly did express concern that David needed his friend Chris to financially help him sponsor his wife Annie to come from Thailand.
One minor issue: "Clearly, the TV packs on the pounds. I kept catching my chins. It needs its own role! I'm not this big fat cow though I do like a doughnut!"