A guy got the shock of his life when he found out that his online girlfriend of eight months was actually his housemate.
After he went through a messy divorce six years ago, Mario’s life hit rock bottom.
The PE teacher, who is originally from the US but moved to West London 11 years ago, admitted he turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the split.
However, he said he found romance again after meeting “Hannah” on a dating app once he got sober and lost 19kg.
The dad explained on the latest episode of Catfish UK that he chatted to Hannah for eight months and described her as “beautiful, kind and compassionate”.
However he said he turned to Catfish hosts Oobah Butler and Julie Adenuga for help when Hannah repeatedly refused to video call and cancelled any plans to meet up.
Sharing all the excuses his online girlfriend had made, Mario recalled how she said her phone’s camera was broken, and said she couldn’t meet him because she was babysitting her nephew and had recently moved back in with her parents.
However, Mario was still adamant that Hannah was who she said she was because she’d given him her West London postcode.
After leaving Mario’s flat, Oobah and Julie took a deep dive into her Instagram and instantly found her touristy photos suspicious.
Oobah asked: “Why would you take a photo with a red telephone box if you lived in London? It’s just weird. You’d do that if you were visiting.”
Afterwards, they looked up her postcode on the electoral register and didn’t find anyone listed under her name – however this could have also meant she just wasn’t registered.
Taking notes from the US host Nev Schulman, the pair decided to do a reverse image search on Google which took them to a New Zealand woman called Sarah’s Instagram page.
After they told Mario that Hannah was not the girl in the photos, he said: “I feel foolish, do they not have better things to do with their time than waste mine?”
After they’d run out of options, Oobah confronted Hannah on the phone and told her they were filming an episode of the hit show.
Although she immediately hung up on the host, she then texted Mario: “Catfish have just been in touch – if I meet you, do you promise I won’t lose you?”
Although he agreed to the meeting, he admitted: “I don’t even know how to respond to that.”
It was then finally revealed that Mario’s flatmate Courtney turned out to be “Hannah” and she met the trio in nearby Wandsworth Park.
Mario was left stunned and said said: “Out of everyone in the world I didn’t expect you. It’s not real, this is way too much to take in.”
Giving her side of the story, Courtney revealed they’d once had a friends with benefits arrangement and now run an athletic apparel business together.
She said: “We’ve known each other for almost five years now. I wanted to see what it would be like to be his girlfriend because I am desperately in love with him.
“We were sleeping together and our friendship grew and grew, it just made sense to move in together. We started a business together.
“It was wrong, I shouldn’t have done it. But I did it from a place of love. It’s the realest thing I’ve had in my life.”
Mario decided to stay at a friend’s house for the next 24 hours while he cleared his head.
The next day, Courtney told Mario she wanted to have a relationship with him – but he said he could never trust her after this.
Courtney added: “I created the profile because I wanted to see a different side of you and imagine what it’s like being in a relationship with you.
“I hope you can forgive me. I love you unconditionally and I always will.”
Sadly, Mario didn’t feel the same. However, in a follow-up chat with the hosts two months later, the pair said that still living together and had managed to stay friends.
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