|“||I will always help you Danny. It's my job.||”|
— Karen to Danny
|Portrayed by:||Denise Richards|
Karen Desai is a main character in Twisted. She is the wife of Vikram Desai and mother of Danny Desai, while being off-again/on-again friends with Tess Masterson since high school. She was once the most popular mom in the town, but when her husband Vikram murdered her sister in law Tara Desai, the family's reputation was ruined. She wanted to sell the home but nobody would buy it and when they still wanted to move, her husband's drinking problems got worse and with the bad investments he made before his supposed accident, she didn't have many options, when she was forced to stay in Green Grove while Danny had been in juvie for five years for a crime her presumed dead husband commited, and Karen had supposedly lost her presumed dead husband, she just wants to move on and get her life back, but that isn't easy when Danny is suspected in the murder of Regina Crane. Instantly, everyone looks at Karen as the mother of a monster and she has trouble going out in public, turning to alcohol like her husband did. She knew deep down in her heart that Danny was innocent and she wanted to be a better mother and make up for her mistakes but he makes it difficult when he starts keeping secrets and more evidence against him comes up once Regina is murdered. No matter what, Karen swears to stay by her son and help him. She has revealed that she is glad Danny has Jo in his life. Karen is rivals/enemies with formerly close friend Kyle Masterson and Regina's mother, Gloria Crane, over her murder case.
Karen Desai is portrayed by Denise Richards.
She was supposedly a "perfect and most popular mother" and is shown to have been somewhat focused on her "perfect and popular" reputation in town when Danny was younger, possibly neglecting him and likely the reason he somewhat initially resented her at the start of the series. However, despite this, she is shown to have very much love both her son and husband. It is implied that she does not know the true reason as to why her husband Vikram killed her sister in law Tara as it is revealed later in the show that Danny did not have anything to with the murder of his Aunt Tara and that his dad Vikram was the real killer and made Danny take the fall for him and serve 5 years in juvie so that he would not end up in prison.
It is revealed in episode four of season one that, in an effort to get Danny acquitted during his trial, she had asked Jo's parents for their daughter to give a character witness for Danny, which she was refused. They insisted that Jo was in too fragile a state to do such a thing and were protecting her by declining Karen's offer. However, Karen thought that they just simply didn't believe in Danny, making her furious years later, believing that if Jo had given a witness then it may have prevented Danny from being sent off to Juvie. She mourned the five years she lost with her son and is bitter over the fact that she can never get them back.
It was her decision to bring Danny home in the Pilot episode, much to Danny's disdain, refusing to give into the town whispering about her son and being driven out of their hometown. Karen is also willing to do whatever it takes to put Danny's life back together, flirting with the school principal to have him put back into the student body. When Danny questions whether or not she truly believes in his innocence regarding Regina's murder, she firmly states that she knows he is not guilty.
In recent episodes, Karen has undergone public pressures due to the town believing Danny is Regina's killer despite no evidence whatsoever supporting it. When she tries to go shopping, also running into Jo's mother Tess, several ladies and store workers publicly stare and gossip about her. Also when she is invited to a town banquet by Tess, she reluctantly agrees to come along. However, things take a turn when Regina's mother, Gloria, shows up unexpectedly. When Karen attempts to give her condolences about her daughter's death, Gloria bluntly states her determination to have Danny kicked out of high school, sent to prison for life and to more or less make her and her son's life a living hell for what he (supposedly) did to her daughter. This causing Karen to flee from the banquet and back home, only to have Kyle show up with a search warrant to search her house. This resulting in the town police trashing her house to search for incriminating evidence against Danny, only to find nothing. Later on, while drinking her sorrows away with a glass of wine, Tess shows up to tell Karen she thought Gloria wasn't going to show up at the banquet and the two end up chatting. Once Tess leaves, Karen sits in her husband's old recliner seat and realizes that the cup holder in the right armrest is removable. Once taking it out, she finds Regina's necklace hidden inside the armrest. The next episode she throws it in the lake unknown she is being watched by Rico.
At the end of the last episode, she reveals to Kyle that she was the one that killed Regina. It was revealed she did not kill Regina, but Vikram did.
She has blue eyes and long, blonde hair, which she usually wears down in loose curls. She generally uses natural makeup. Her style is classy and elegant, she likes to wear shirts and blouses with a skirt or trousers, and most of the time, she wears high heels. She is very attractive for her age.
Vik was Karen's late husband whom she clearly loved very much. They were friends in high school, dated in college, but when they married and began their family they had a very angry and complicated relationship. Karen misses him now that he is presumed deceased and often times finds herself talking about him without thinking, but he is revealed to be alive in the mid-season finale Out With The In-Crowd after a phone conversation between him and Tess Masterson.
- Main article: Karen and Danny
They have a complicated relationship, but she loves him completely and would do anything to help him.
- Main article: Karen and Tess
Karen and Tess Masterson are friends. Tess really feels sorry for Karen.Tess has always been there for Karen and they know each other so well because in The Truth Will Out Tess knew she wasn't a killer and she was right. Karen got angry at Tess because she knew Vikram was alive this whole time, but then Tess reveals she trusted Vikram because he helped her with her other baby, which she put up for adoption. Karen says she already knew because Vikram told her before.
- Main article: Kyle and Karen
- Grief Is a Five Letter Word
- PSA De Resistance
- Sleeping with the Frenemy
- The Fest And The Furious
- Three For The Road
- We Need To Talk About Danny
- The Truth Will Out
- Poison of Interest
- Out With The In-Crowd
- Sins of the Father
- Home Is Where the Hurt Is
- The Son Also Falls
- Danny Indemnity
- You're a Good Man, Charlie McBride
- Danny, Interrupted
- The Tale of Two Confessions (last appearance)
- It is unknown who told her about Danny's impending arrest, but it is possible that Tess told her because they are friends and Kyle told Tess about the incriminating evidence.
- She was very rich and the most popular mother in the neighborhood before Danny got sent to Juvie for five years.
- In the first few episodes, Danny only referred to Karen as "Mother", but in recent episodes Danny has called her Mom.
- She and Tess have been on-again/off-again friends since high school.
- She now has a job.
- She said that she murdered Regina Crane so people will stop ganging up on her son Danny Desai.
- Her husband Vikram faked his death with a boating accident so he would not get caught for strangling Tara to death and made their son Danny take the blame for it and caused him to serve 5 years in juvie for a crime he did not commit.