Are Erika And Stephanie From '90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days' Still Together?

Photo: TLC
Are Erika And Stephanie From '90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days' Still Together?
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The new season of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days begins on February 23. In this TLC reality series, Americans travel abroad to meet their long-distance love interests, usually for the first time ever. They hope to get engaged and begin the process of applying for K1 fiancé visa to bring their significant other to the US to get married.

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This season, TLC is showing the first same-sex couple in the history of the franchise. YouTuber Stephanie Matto fell in love with Australian photographer Erika Owens online.  Matto is planning a trip across the world to see Owens in person for the first time. To complicate matters, Matto suffered from a rare bone marrow disorder than means that makes the trip a real risk to her health. She's determined to forge ahead with meeting Owens, however, prompting viewers to ask: Are Erika and Stephanie from 90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days still together?

Who is Stephanie Matto?

Matto is hardly a newcomer to the world of media attention. She is a popular YouTuber who posts under the name Stepanka. She has about 350 thousand followers on the video platform and 56 thousand followers on Instagram. She also has a Patreon page where people can pay to see sexier photos and videos that she posts. Before that, in 1994, she was on the Nickelodeon show All That. She has also authored a memoir called Mean Boys and Memories and says she is now working on a documentary about aplastic anemia, a rare, life-threatening disease with which she was diagnosed in 2016. 

What is aplastic anemia?

Aplastic anemia is a serious condition where a person's bone marrow stops producing blood cells. Matto claims she first noticed symptoms in 2016 when she began getting bruises at the slightest touch. "The most intense bruise I got was when I was carrying shopping bags home one day and a few hours later I looked at my hands and they were a sea of blue-green. It looked as if all the veins in my hands had burst out blood," she recalled. She went into for tests and her doctors frantically summoned her to the hospital when they got the results. Her blood count was dangerously low and she had to go on a regime of blood transfusion every other day. The best course of treatment for the conditions would have been a bone marrow transplant but there were no matching donors available to her. Later, she went on an experimental protocol involving horse protein, which put her into enough of a remission that she could go about her life. However, she still faces health challenges and her immune systems is far weaker than is typical. 

Who is Erika Owens? 

Owens is a 24-year-old photographer in Port Agusta, Australia. Her business website advertises her services doing weddings, newborn photo shoots, and other standard work for a person who has a talent with a camera. She also has an Instagram account with the handle GlitterBuggin which features colorful photos of herself (her hair is vivid pink and purple these days) and her friends, plus some travel shots. 

She shared that she had some apprehensions about the show in an Instagram post in February, saying "I’m about to be on one of the biggest reality TV shows I’ve ever heard of. Those are words I never thought I’d say - and although I am so excited about it, there is also fear of my own vulnerability. My whole life is about to go on display. My heart, my emotions, my personality, my people, and my experiences. I can’t wait to give everyone a glimpse into my world and let y’all get to know the sparkly, happy, fun gal I am. This is an amazing, brilliant, fantastic adventure that I am so grateful to be a part of!! But oh boy, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly nervous!" ⠀

Erika Owens in February 2020.

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How did this couple meet?

Unsurprisingly, Owens and Matto say they met online in the trailers for the show. They don't elaborate on that very much, however. The logical suspicion is that Owens is a fan of Matto's YouTube channel and they connected that way — though we can't confirm that fact. Matto also indicates the fact that she's love with a woman is going to come as a shock to her family. She has dated men in her past. But beyond that, we will just have to wait for the premiere to learn about their origin story as a couple. 

The couple's been dogged by rumors that their relationship is only for publicity.

Questions of how real this relationship is are definitely going to dog this couple. Not only does Matto have a YouTube channel that she relies on for income but she is also working on a documentary about her experience with aplastic anemia. Plus she has a book to sell. A relationship with a pink-haired Australian girl might be exactly the publicity she needs to take her career as an influencer to the next level. 

But Matto swears she's in a real relationship and none of this is for clicks. "I already make good money, live comfortably, so honestly for me, it wasn't about that. Of course, an extra follower is a perk (for EVERYONE who does the show)," she wrote in an Instagram comment. "But I am a person who already had followers, financial stability, etc. But let me ask you this... WHY do people go on tv to air their dirty laundry and relationships? Is there an appropriate answer? I did it for the experience, and I did it because after 2 years of dealing with a life-threatening disease I just wanted to live a little crazy and do something insane with a person I love. That is all there is to it."

Are Erika Owens and Stephanie Matto from 90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days still together? 

The promos for the show definitely have some ups and downs for this couple. Their first face-to-face meeting in the airport is marked by passionate kisses and Matto sobbing to the camera about how deeply she loves Owen. But later clips show Matto fretting that Owen hasn't been open about her past and they even have a huge fight about Owen introduing Matto to her ex. 

In keeping with TLC's policy of not letting stars of this show let anything slip before airtime, there are no clues on their social media accounts about where they stand now. Fans will just have to wait until February 23 when the new season begins to learn more about this couple. 

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.

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