Nearly eight years after the infamous gun incident that led to the end of his marriage with Flip or Flop co-star Christina Hall, Tarek El Moussa is finally opening up about what really happened.
In his new book, Flip Your Life: How to Find Opportunity in Distress – in Real Estate, Business, and Life, El Moussa shares details about the 2016 situation. Before the couple officially called it quits in Dec. 2016, El Moussa and Hall had separated seven months prior.
During an altercation, El Moussa fled into a nature area near their former home with a pistol. Worried about him, Hall immediately called 9-1-1. After the call, police quickly flooded the park and it was over within minutes.
According to PEOPLE, Tarek El Moussa reflected on the incident. He said after one heated argument with Hall, he went out to their backyard in Yorba Linda and hopped over the fence. El Moussa also said that rather than allegedly fleeing, he was “craving exercise” and wanted to scout the trail near the house. The couple had notably just purchased some new mountain bikes at the time.
While at the Chino Hills State Park, El Moussa said he brought his “insurance policy,” a .38-caliber pistol. This was for if the park’s inhabitants, such as mountain lions and bobcats, would be around. He said he had received his California concealed-carry license weeks before the incident.
Tarek El Moussa didn’t think much about his actions until a helicopter appeared overhead. He first thought there may have been an emergency, such as a wildfire. However, he quickly realized that the aircraft was for him.
“A police officer leaning out of the helicopter pointed a rifle at me,” he wrote. “Dust swirled around me from the spin of the blades, and a loudspeaker crackled, ‘Get your hands in the air!’”
Other police officers on the ground appeared as well.
Tarek El Moussa Reveals He Was Handcuffed Following the Park Incident
Following the park incident, Tarek El Moussa recalled that he was forced to sit on a cooler in his driveway and handcuffed for several hours.
“That was the very last time we were together as a family,” El Moussa wrote. “With Christina walking down the driveway, crying, and me sitting there in handcuffs, asking myself, ‘What in the world is going on?‘”
Tarek El Moussa also told PEOPLE that the weeks following the split were both physical and emotional hell. He ended up hiding out on his boat and drinking himself unconscious. He also was going through extreme withdrawal from the testosterone he had been taking. His friends eventually stepped in and got him into a rehab facility.
“Everybody gave up on me,” El Moussa said. “The magazines, the outlets, the network, nobody believed in me.”
Seven years after the incident and divorce, both El Moussa and Hall have healed and moved on. “I hold nothing against Christina,” El Moussa said. “I understand why she did what she did. We had a lot of hard years through my sicknesses and my mental health struggles from the testosterone. I’ve never said any of this, ever.”