Karen Larrea Reveals The Truth Behind Her Unexpected Exit From My Mom, Your Dad - Exclusive

HBO's "My Mom, Your Dad" aims to shake up the world of reality dating shows. The eight-episode series is like a mix between "Love Island" and "The Circle" — but the big catch is that it features uniquely experienced daters. These aren't your average 23-year-olds looking for an expensive engagement ring by the finale, a la "The Bachelor." These are divorced parents over the age of 40, who were nominated by their college-aged children and hoped to find a second — or even third — chance at love.

Karen Larrea had already tried online dating when she discovered that her daughter Breana Symone signed her up for the show. She wasn't sure if the casting call was legitimate, let alone if a reality show could actually lead to lasting romance (see: every Bachelor Nation engagement that imploded at warp speed). Nonetheless, she decided to give it a try, and her spark with castmate Troy Petrick was instant and undeniable. Unfortunately, their relationship almost ended before it began when Karen unexpectedly had to exit production during the sixth episode.

So, what actually happened? Karen sat down with Nicki Swift to exclusively reveal the truth behind the family emergency that sent her packing.

Coronavirus exposure forced Karen Larrea exit production

In the 6th episode, titled "My Rock Says Caution," a producer pulled Karen aside to have a private meeting with a man named Karl. He delivered some admittedly "crappy" news, and Karen packed her bags. Before her heartbreaking exit, she left a letter for Troy that blamed her move on unexplained "personal issues." Breana followed, and it wasn't long before Troy and his son, Noah Petrick, also left the series. Fans searched for answers, scouring the end credits to find that Karl Risinger was the show's Health and Safety Supervisor. A clue? Definitely. Meanwhile, blogs went abuzz with news of a mysterious "family emergency." Karen never elaborated on her issues — until now.

"Basically it was a COVID exposure issue," Karen tells Nicki Swift, explaining that she had been exposed to the virus and had to distance herself. "It was really hard for us to leave, but we had to leave just to make sure everyone was safe for production." 

Thankfully, Karen was able to rekindle her romance with Troy after the series ended. "The time that we're apart, every day we FaceTime, and text, and talk," she says. "I have a huge smile on my face that hasn't left for six months."

You can catch Karen Larrea on "Your Mom, My Dad," currently streaming on HBO Max.