'90 Day Fiancé's Ben Explains Mahogany's Lies and Responds to Being Called a 'Predator' (Exclusive)

This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.

If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.

90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days star Ben is opening up about his much talked-about journey with Mahogany this season. ET spoke to the fitness model about the alarming lies he's caught Mahogany in, as well as the criticism he's faced from some fans over their significant age difference.

Ben, a former pastor, connected with Mahogany online and they bonded over their faith. Despite their age difference -- Ben is 52 and Mahogany initially said she was 24, but turned out to be 22 -- and the fact that Ben had been catfished before, he's convinced she's the One and traveled to Peru to meet her. However, his family and friends were highly suspicious given that Mahogany's online photos were obviously heavily filtered and she refused to video chat with him. Although Mahogany was a no-show at the airport and stopped answering his texts, she did eventually show up at the restaurant he asked to meet her at. Ben was relieved Mahogany was an attractive woman, but acknowledged she didn't look like her pictures. Ben explained to ET's Melicia Johnson why it didn't concern him.

"In my opinion, there's two different kinds of people that do social media," he says. "One is someone that wants to show what's going on in their lives every single day and they want to be real and authentic and show everyone who they are. When I see Mahogany's page, it's not like that at all. She posts maybe once every two or three months and it's just for fun, it's more for art. Like, if you look at her page, it's just a bunch of pictures of selfies that look really well done, and some are like from two or three years ago. She doesn't, you know, update. So, in my opinion, she's not really trying to deceive anyone, she's having a fun time."

"So if she's a young girl at 20 years old and she finds an app that kind of morphs your face -- so we've all kind of done Snapchat filters and had a good time with it -- she just posted it," he continues. "She never thought the entire world would be looking at that and judging her for it, you know, she was just having fun. So I don't have any problem with it ... it's fine, it doesn't really matter."

Ben said that in his opinion, Mahogany "wasn't being deceptive at all" when it comes to her pictures.

"I could tell that the pictures were doctored a little bit and I didn't really take it seriously," he says. "To me it was much more of a spiritual connection and she wouldn't send me pictures, you know, no video chatting ... It just wasn't something she was interested in doing and something I was interested in pursuing. I wasn't begging her for pics every day."

As for more big lies he caught Mahogany in during a previous episode this season -- like her mom telling him that she's 22 years old when she initially told him she was 24 -- Ben said he no longer thinks it's a big deal. Ben was shocked during the episode given that he has a daughter who is also 22 years old.

"[Mahogany] didn't keep reiterating the lie," he notes. "It was a one-time lie. Something that I would tell my kids, if you meet a strange, older man online, don't tell him your social security number, don't tell him your address, don't tell him your age. If you do tell them your age, change it up because you don't know if they're going to be a stalker or a crazy person. So, not a problem with me at all. So the age thing to me is us not pursuing the truth together and me like, not following up well. I just did a lot of assuming."

He later commented on some fans finding it amusing that what he seemed to be bothered by the most among other big lies was that she's 22 years old, which is only two years younger than what she told him.

"That really had more to do with my kids, I don't, you know, have a 24-year-old but I do have a 22-year-old," he explains. "I just thought if she's older than my kids, psychologically, it's not that big of a deal. But even that's not that big a deal to me as for the age of my kids because I don't look at it that way. She's a completely separate adult and it doesn't matter to me if my kids are that age, it's just something that caught me off guard. I had to think about it for a minute. But this has become so much more than age, so much more than, you know, our differences. The things we've been really focusing on are our commonalities. And so far those outweigh our differences. And she is so mature and wise and intelligent, that I haven't really felt that difference."

Ben acknowledged that he's been getting criticism from fans about his and Mahogany's 30-year age difference and said that as long as her parents and his children didn't have a problem with it, he was comfortable in pursuing the relationship. Ben also said he'd be OK with his own 22-year-old daughter dating someone his age as long as he could screen him first.

"There's no one in this world that loves Mahogany more than her dad and so all of the viewers out there that are so concerned for her and think that I'm a predator coming after a young girl, trust me when I say the dad cares more about the situation than anyone from the outside," he says. "So, if he sees that I am very, very healthy -- which is, I find myself the exception and I'm sure that's probably rationalizing what I'm doing so I'll give you that -- but I am incredibly healthy. I take care of my body and it's a huge priority and I want to live for a very long time and I want to live in the best health that I can."

Ben said he has in fact dated women his own age and that his last serious relationship before Mahogany was with a 39-year-old woman.

"So I think every case is individual," he says. "It's not about the age to me. I met someone whose heart and whose soul is just so beautiful and someone that I can just connect with on such a different level that I just didn't want to let that go."

Meanwhile, Ben also commented on another concerning issue that alarmed 90 Day Fiancé viewers, when he noted in an episode that the condo Mahogany said she was living in definitely wasn't hers. Ben told ET that he now understood that she wanted to "impress" him and said she wasn't being totally dishonest.

"She was actually living there and she lived there for a couple of months," he says. "I'm sure most of her stuff was in her parents' house. For Peru, that is their off season, I went during their winter. So, there's not a lot of tourists. Those really nice condominiums there are very inexpensive. She's got a great job, she's got a great future. She is going to become an international lawyer, and she has money and her parents have money. So, like I said, I look at everything through the positive side, maybe too much so."

"If there is something major I feel like we can't get past, that's one thing, but if someone's just trying to have me show up and this is where they're living for a couple of months, I wasn't asking a whole lot of questions so that's on me for not pursuing it harder and more thoroughly," he adds.

90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on TLC.


'90 Day Fiancé': Ben Catches Mahogany in Alarming Lies

'90 Day Fiancé' Shocker: Ben Finally Meets Mahogany In Person

'90 Day Fiancé's Mike Reacts to Ximena Saying She's Doesn't Love Him

Related Gallery