“She has not confided in Josh about the custody other than to express how much she loves and misses her kids,” the insider reveals. “It’s painful for Josh to watch her go through this.”
Karine, 26, is currently working with her estranged husband, Paul Staehle, to gain custody back of their sons – Pierre, 3, and Ethan, 20 months – after they were taken into the care of Child Protective Services.
The source tells In Touch that Josh, 35, is empathic toward Karine amid her separation from her sons. “After losing his dad, he can’t imagine what it must be like to lose two children,” the insider says. “But although Karine is suffering, she’s doing what she needs to and sees the kids weekly.”
News of the custody battle first broke in June, when Pierre was reported missing and thought to be with Paul, 39. On July 1, Paul hinted at the custody battle via his Instagram Stories.
“If two parents have their kids taken, the grandparents or [a] relative should be allowed to have temporary custody,” the TLC alum wrote at the time. “To ban the grandparents from the children as well as the natural parents is very sad.”
The next day, the Louisville Metro Police Department confirmed to In Touch that their eldest child was “located and safe” and the missing person’s case was closed.
“He did the exchange with his parents and dropped Pierre off along with Pierre’s stuff at a local park,” a source separately confirmed to In Touch about Paul dropping off Pierre with Paul’s mom. Prior to Pierre’s custody exchange, Ethan had already been taken into CPS custody. Both children remain in CPS custody.
Karine started a GoFundMe page to help her raise money for a lawyer amid the custody battle. “My two Brazilian children were taken from me by American CPS because me and my husband argued in front of our children [sic],” she wrote in the description for the fundraiser, which she shared via her Instagram Stories on November 4. “They will not give me an opportunity to get my kids back.”
She explained that she had been “fully compliant” with Child Protective Services for over a year, though is still only allowed 1-2 hours a week with her kids during supervised visits.
Later that day, Paul confirmed that he and Karine were working “as a team” to get their sons back.
“Me and Karine are friends. We talk constantly, we’re good,” the former reality star told 90 Day Fiancé blogger John Yates in a video interview. “I tell Karine, maybe we should get the Brazilian embassy involved at this point.”
The former couple made their reality TV debut on season 1 of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days in 2017. They wed in 2018 but had split and reconciled several times during their marriage. They seemingly split for good in December 2021.
On November 9, In Touch confirmed that Karine had moved on with Josh, making it her first public relationship since her split from her estranged husband. However, the source reveals Paul isn’t supportive of Karine and Josh’s relationship.
After Paul learned about Karine’s new romance with the former Bachelor Nation star, he called the Brazilian native to talk “s–t about Josh,” the insider tells In Touch. “Karine and Josh both laughed it off though.”