'90 Day Fiancé': Jenny Responds to Her and Sumit's 'Haters'
90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way star Jenny is unconcerned with those who have a problem with her and boyfriend Sumit's unconventional relationship.
Jenny and Sumit are a standout couple in the TLC franchise given their drama-filled journey during season 1 of 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way, the 90 Day Fiancé spinoff that follows Americans moving to a foreign country for love. Jenny, 61, fell in love with 32-year-old Sumit online after they connected on Facebook. Sumit admittedly catfished Jenny at first by using a model's pictures, though Jenny accepted him when she found out what he really looked like. Jenny ended up leaving Palm Springs, California, to be with Sumit in India, but was shocked when she learned that he was actually already married. Sumit didn't tell Jenny he was in an arranged marriage, and upon finding out, Jenny returned to Palm Springs.
But the couple is back for season 2 of 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way, which premiered Monday night. Sumit is now going through expensive divorce proceedings, and Jenny is planning to move back to India. The two still face significant issues, however, with Sumit's parents and friends still not approving of their relationship. During the premiere, Sumit had a conversation with his friends, who are concerned about the age difference between him and Jenny. They note that Jenny's age means they won't have kids together, which Sumit said he was fine with. When his friends said that he was turning his back against Indian culture, Sumit replied that he wasn't, but rather was "avoiding haters."
During a virtual press conference Wednesday, Jenny commented on the memorable scene from the premiere and said that, at the end of the day, she and Sumit just love each other.
"It's gonna happen regardless," she says of having critics. "It's really difficult for us. We just love each other ... we don't pay attention to those around us. It doesn't matter and we just don't pay attention to it. Of course there's haters, but we just want people to understand that we love each other regardless of our age difference, our culture and background -- Indian, American -- it doesn't matter."
"We're in our own little bubble," she continues. "We don't even pay attention to it. Trust us, we know there's a lot [of critics]."
Jenny says she decided to come back for another season of 90 Day Fiancé because her and Sumit's relationship wasn't finished. She says she understands why he didn't tell her about his arranged marriage.
"I mean, I still love him the same," she says of forgiving him and rebuilding their trust. "I understand his culture."
During the press conference, Jenny and fellow 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way season 2 cast members Ariela, Tim and Kenneth also discussed their experiences being in interracial relationships, given that it's such an important time in America right now, discussing systemic racism following the death of George Floyd. TLC President and General Manager Howard Lee pointed out that the franchise has visited 40 different countries during its history and has widened viewers' ideas about what goes on in other cultures outside America.
Jenny said, for her part, she never considered Sumit's race when she started dating him.
"I just see the person that I fall in love with," she says, noting that her ex is black. "I don't see their race or skin color or anything like that. It's all about the person. Whatever people think they think, I just see whatever I feel. If the love is there, the love is there. That's it."
"Other countries are great too, not only America," she adds of the importance of others seeing other places. "Other countries are just as great ... there's beautiful countries, beautiful people, a lot of beautiful things going on in other countries aside from America."
Meanwhile, 28-year-old Ariela, who moved to Ethiopia from Princeton, New Jersey, so that her boyfriend, 29-year-old Biniyam, could witness the birth of their son, acknowledged that some people have a problem with their interracial relationship.
"They're not happy that we are an interracial couple," she says. "Among Ethiopians, it's a poor country, so it's hard for a lot of Ethiopians to believe that our love is genuine and there is not something Biniyam is getting out of it from me. ... The word they use for foreigners is the word they use for white people. They think that it's not about love, it's about taking advantage of a situation."
However, she hopes that she and Biniyam's story will change some viewers' minds and says that showing their relationship on television will have a positive impact when it comes to normalizing interracial relationships.
"[It's] not something exotic or interesting, it's just part of the culture, and that's good," she says.
Meanwhile, 34-year-old Tim, who moved to Colombia from Dallas, Texas, to be with his girlfriend, 29-year-old Melyza, says he hopes to break down certain stereotypes.
"Everybody's ignorant to things they haven't experienced before," he points out.
Tim says he's been judged in Colombia as well, given the stereotype of Americans coming to the country with the goal of getting "gorgeous Colombian women."
"It's so much more than that," he says of his journey with Melyza. "It's enlightening for me."
ET previously spoke to Tim ahead of the 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way season 2 premiere, and he talked about Melyza being so much more than her physical attractiveness.
"Especially with the whole Colombian stereotype, I think most people just, like, automatically jump at the fact that they're stereotypically very gorgeous," he told ET. "But ... she had more to her than that. She's just incredibly intelligent. She's completely bilingual. And you know, taught herself a lot of that. And is really determined and motivated, and honestly, I may not have as many desires to be motivated or ambitious. So, that kind of rubs off on me from her. So ... a lot more things than you look for than just beauty, because that does fade and she's just an amazing person. She really cares about other people, unequivocally."
He also teased his "shocking" journey this season and what he did to break Melyza's trust. Watch the video below for more:
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