There have been times when Paul Staehle and Karine Martins’ mess was actually entertaining.
Unfortunately, these days, things are looking very serious and downright grim.
A leaked video appears to show Karine assaulting Paul in what looks like a domestic violence incident right in front of their son.
Karine is talking about divorce on social media. Meanwhile, Paul’s parents are both pitching in to look after Pierre and Ethan.
In a short-lived post on her Instagram on Friday, Karine spoke to her followers about divorce.
“Do you know when you’ve tried everything?” she began.
“And when I say everything,” Karine continued, “it’s everything you can imagine and then some.”
“The night before I spent awake and reflecting on everything I’ve been through and many things,” Karine wrote.
“It was for the love of my children,” she affirmed, “and it will always be for them and that will never change.”
Karine shared: “I woke up determined, asked for a divorce, that’s right, divorce.”
“[Now] what will happen to me, I don’t know but God knows,” Karine wrote.
“At the moment, I just want the lap of my family and especially my mother,” she expressed, “to go back to my house and start my life over…”
Karine wrote: “I’ll be back another day to talk to you… From now on I’m going to vent and say everything. … Thank you in advance for your support…”
That post was deleted, but not before it was screenshotted by 90 Day Fiance blogger John Yates.
Seemingly a short time after she asked for a divorce, a video was leaked from the couple’s indoor security cameras.
In the video, we appear to see Karine jerking Paul’s hair and pushing him back by his throat, all in front of their 2-year-old, Pierre.
There is never any excuse for domestic violence, and it is a struggle to come up with another term for what we are seeing.
Hair-pulling and more can be part of consensual bedroom activity for couples, but they are fully clothed and in their living room — and in front of their son.
If there is any context to this video that makes it something other than spousal abuse, the world has yet to hear it.
Taking to Instagram at the end of the weekend, Paul gave a shoutout to his parents.
His mother, Mary, and his seldom-seen father, have both been helping out with childcare.
Even though this is a busy time of year for his mother’s work, they are looking after their grandsons during this ugly time.
The simplest explanation for what happened is that there was at least one incident of spousal abuse, possibly more, caught on camera.
Hypothetically, Paul as the victim might have not released the footage out of misplaced love for Karine, but held onto it in case he one day needed it.
We are all aware of how troubling Paul’s history is, and how his track record has given fans few reasons to believe him about anything.
We also know how seldom male victims of domestic violence are believed or supported.
While this is also often the case with other victims of domestic violence, there is a distinction.
Women who are abused are disbelieved out of misogyny in a patriarchal culture. That same culture discourages men from admitting to any “weakness” or seeking help.
Unfortunately, we all know Paul and Karine’s history of bitter and extremely public breakups, followed by inexplicable reconciliations.
They absolutely should not be together under any circumstances.
That does not mean that they will not reconcile days or weeks or months from now.