Flip or Flop’s Tarek & Christina El Moussa separate after explosive fight

When I was covering the drama surrounding Fixer Upper’s star couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, I was disturbed to discover that many commenters were more interested in the Flip or Flop couple, Tarek and Christina El Moussa. Why did I find it so disturbing? Because I can’t stand them. Tarek gives off addict-vibes, and seems like a guy who buys houses instead of just outright gambling. Christina is vapid and a terrible designer who always, inevitably wants to buy the most expensive sh-t for the properties they are trying to flip. Both of them make my skin crawl, although I didn’t have a lot of evidence to back up my general feelings of unease. Now I do. Tarek and Christina have separated following some sort of crazy fight.

“Flip or Flop” stars Tarek and Christina El Moussa portray the chipper, nearly perfect all-American couple on TV but we’ve learned they’re now separated …after a scary incident involving guns and a feared suicide attempt. Their ordeal started, at least publicly, in May when deputies responded to “a call of a possibly suicidal male with a gun” at the couple’s Orange County home. According to law enforcement, a massive presence showed up — 11 deputies and a helicopter.

Witnesses told cops they saw Tarek grab a gun from his safe, run out the back door and flee down a hiking trail. Shortly after, Christina was seen running out of the house crying and shaking. Within minutes, the helicopter spotted Tarek on a trail and deputies told him to drop his weapon. Tarek complied and told deputies he had no intention of hurting himself. He said he wanted to “blow off some steam,” and only brought the gun for mountain lions and rattlesnakes.

Deputies went back to the house and ended up seizing 5 guns, including an AR-15.

Christina and Tarek tell us they decided to separate while they reevaluate their marriage. As far as the incident goes … they’ll only say it was an “unfortunate misunderstanding.” They add … they’re committed to co-parenting, and … “will continue to work through this process civilly and cooperatively, and plan to continue our professional life together.”

[From TMZ]

You’re telling me that a sweaty, nervous guy who gets “high” on high-stakes realty-flipping has access to automatic weapons, and that he had some kind of explosive fight with his wife? You’re joking! I never would have thought. I can only be sarcastic about this because it seems like no one was hurt, and because the police wisely took his guns away. Although if this sh-t went down in May, I bet the police had to return his guns to him. Just keep that in mind when you’re watching Flip or Flop. I hope Christina took their kids and went far, far away.

Photos courtesy of Getty.

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85 Responses to “Flip or Flop’s Tarek & Christina El Moussa separate after explosive fight”

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  1. OSTONE says:

    I feel sorry for them, but I cannot stand them or watch flip or flop. Christina comes off as extremely tacky and Tarek is weird and like he is high on speed all the time. I too do not understand the folks who prefer them to the Gaines. I do get the Gaines’ are not everyone’s cup of tea, but they are more watchable and relatable, at least in my opinion. People Mag also reported that they already are seeing other people. #thatescalatedquickly

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Both women are one-trick ponies, design-wise.

    • sherry says:

      They said a vague, “Both couples are dating” however, Christina is the only one who is seriously dating another “designer.” If I had to come up with a narrative surrounding this split, I would say Christina met this other designer, started having an affair (emotional/physical/both) and told Tarek she wanted a divorce back in May and he flipped out.

      I like the Gaines family, but the Neelys split (from the Food Network) convinced me none of these couples are as perfectly happy as they appear.

      • megan says:

        I would guess the same – she had another guy on the side.

        I find the timing of the announcement very strange – right before Christmas? And they had a lot of promos on HGTV as a happily married couple dancing together and celebrating the holidays. I wonder if someone (a gossip site/magazine) found out and was going to spill the beans?

      • sherry says:

        TMZ broke the story Sunday night, so I’m thinking they were going to hold off announcing until their season ended, but couldn’t because of the breaking headline.

    • OCbetch says:

      The word around town here is that he’s been living on a boat in Newport for the last 6 months and that they both have been seeing other people for at least that long.

  2. Cannibell says:

    An AR-15? NO ONE who is not on active military duty needs an assault rifle. NO. ONE. I’d never heard of these two until the headlines started appearing, but geez, I sure hope no one gives him back that gun. Points, though, for keeping his guns in a safe.

    • Placebo says:

      I agree. I don’t understand why a civilian would have this kind of weapon.

      • Malificent says:

        My favorite on HGTV is Househunters International. It’s fun to see the different locations, especially the smaller towns and cities that aren’t in the tourist books. And even when the hunters are annoying, it’s fun to watch the realtors roll their eyes.

        But I can’t stand the domestic US version of the show. Nothing but spoiled women complaining that they can’t possibly consider some mIlliion dollar house because the granite in the kitchen is the wrong shade of beige.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        I love House Hunters and House Hunters International, too!

      • Harryg says:

        I also love HHI! And yes, someone saying they can’t buy a million dollar house because the dishwasher is old, is insane. And this happens a lot.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        But they are all amazed that windows in the house let in natural light.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        @paranormalgirl – IKR “I love how the windows let in the natural light”…Wow, windows let in light??? THIS IS SUCH NEW INFORMATION!!!!! LOL

      • GreenTurtle says:

        I completely agree, Malificent! I liked HH until I started watching HHI. The people on regular HH are odious about 80% of the time.

      • Krysten says:

        There Are Plenty Of Responsible Gun Owners. My husband and I have a gun safe with an Ar15 in it among many others and enjoy taking it out to shoot at the shooting range. He also has his concealed carry. Our son evens goes to the range with us and shoots the Ar15! Nothing wrong with owning them if you’re responsible

      • C-No says:

        My cousin was on HHI! He’s a realtor in Nicaragua!

    • MrsBPitt says:

      I read that Tarek had posted a new picture of himself, a few days ago, shooting that AR57….not a good situation, at all…

      I never liked their show…they seem to do the exact same design in every house…sometimes my hubby and I will say it with Christina…”let’s do gray walls, with white cabinets. new hardwood floors, and a cool back splash” To be fair, the Gaines do the exact same house in every show, too! That’s why I like Love It or List It, at least Hilary uses different styles and designs…

      • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

        Hehe, I said the same above! I, too, like LIOLI, and I loved Divine Design with Candice Olson.

  3. Louise177 says:

    I used to love this show but now it’s just ok. Most of their designs became the same and they made dumb construction decisions. If I see another all white kitchen I’ll scream. Although they’re not big names, I’m surprised I didn’t hear about May incident earlier.

    • Harryg says:

      They once ruined a Hollywood Regency-style house with a hideous wrought iron door and I wasn’t able to watch the show after that.

  4. BeBeA says:

    I thought that he was sick and battling cancer,maybe I’m thinking of another person. Wow, run lady, run !

    • Rhiley says:

      There was a weird story a while back that he was being treated for thyroid cancer after a viewer wrote in that he should have the nodule on his neck checked out.

      • JohnLuc says:

        Wow. Hearing about his thyroid problems just makes those comments about his “sweaty nervousness” that much worse.

    • Melly says:

      He had thyroid cancer and I think had a tumor removed from his neck. A year of two ago he also had a spinal issue and had to get back surgery for it.
      I like Flip or Flop. I got a lot of good ideas from them when I was redoing my house. Personally, I like gray walls!

      • TotallyOld says:

        Agree, and I also personally love all white kitchens – much better than dark and depressing dark wood kitchens with that ugly yellow/beige granite. I don’t usually watch their show or the Gaines show – I prefer DIY channel (an offshoot of HGTV) and I like Rehab Addict, Nashville Flipped, and several other great fixer upper shows.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        Rehab Addict is the BEST!

  5. Godwina says:

    “Sweaty nervous guy.”

    Nailed it.

  6. Aiobhan Targaryen says:

    I guess 2016 is really the year of realizing things.

    I actually really enjoy Flip or Flop for some unknown reason. He really is a man child and she seems like she could barely tolerate him with all the side eyes she was throwing at him. They also had little to no chemistry. But it was something I could keep on while I clean or cook without having to actually pay close attention.

    I hope the love it or list (the original show and not that flop spin off with the younger hosts) it hosts don’t end that show. That would truly upset me. Those two are competitive as hell and are naturals on camera.

    • I Choose Me says:

      I enjoyed the show in the beginning as well because I love interior decorating but I got bored with the sameness of their designs. And I’ve never ever, ever liked him. It started with my observation that he has little to zero interaction with his daughter and he always seemed ready to go into a snit at any moment. I had no problem with her really other than a general feeling that she tries too hard to be Ms. Perfect.

    • AmunetMaat says:

      I just got into their show like three weeks ago. I really loved how they seemed connected but not overly lovey dovey. The brief scenes at home, where he helps with the baby and the little girl were sweet mixed in with the flips. I like the Gaines chemistry but couldn’t really handle their show after 7 episodes. Now it just seems weird watching. The HGTV Christmas promo is now so creepy knowing that they are separated and seeing other people.

  7. mellie says:

    I hate this show….everything ends up looking the same, black/gray/neutral/stone boring finishes in houses that I could never ever in my lifetime afford. Maybe I’m biased being from Indiana, but a really good show to watch on HGTV is Good Bones, if it’s still in production, it’s a mother/daughter team in Indianapolis buying up houses that are pieces of crap…and I mean crap, they are paying under 20K for these houses and their design elements are so much more unique. Every house turns out differently AND they sell them for a reasonable amount. I understand, Cali is more expensive than Indy…but Flip or Flop was just too much for me to take and then couple that with the side job they had where they (or actually a representative of theirs) went around trying to get you to buy into their real estate flipping gig, what a couple of phonies, inside AND out!

    • lucy2 says:

      That show sounds good, I’ll have to check it out.
      All the other HGTV shows I’ve seen are so formulaic, including Flip or Flop. The same things happen in nearly every episode and they all look the same.

      • Steph says:

        I love Good Bones! Mina and Karen have much better chemistry than Tarek and Christina or Chip and Joanna.

    • TotallyOld says:

      I like Good Bones well enough but the mom drives me crazy. She is not productive in that show and the only thing I see her doing is trying to be funny and she fails miserably. Like the daughter okay and her houses are cute with exception of some of the wild colors they select.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      I saw that show a couple of times and really enjoyed it. Now I can never find it on.

  8. Senaber says:

    They also have a big lawsuit pending about their flipping course, don’t they?

    Christina’s designs may be bland, but I like that the show does not portray her as some hysterical shrew tolerated by her husband. Tarek at least seems to really value her opinion. And letting the public know you are seeing other people 6 mos after you split, especially when you have young kids together, is weird.

  9. JudyK says:

    You nailed and reiterated my own thoughts on this couple 100% in your first paragraph. I’ve never been able to stand them, and Christina doesn’t have an ounce of class or style when it comes to decorating.

    I’m worried about their children after reading about all the guns, especially an AR-15. Speechless.

  10. Tig says:

    I have never understood folks ragging on the design for a show that’s all about re-sale: it’s supposed to be as generic as possible. It’s not called “re-sale beige” for nothing. That’s the prob with the Gaines-they are designing for specific people, and every house design is the same.
    I am sad that this couple is having to deal with this-heck, any couple! And I, like other poster, thought I read somewhere he was undergoing cancer treatment. Hope they all get through this- with no guns returned!!

    • BengalCat2000 says:

      Agree with everything you said. I like having Flip or Flop on as background noise. They are trying to appeal to the widest audience possible and I was never particularly invested in them. I find the Gaines to be so twee and annoying. Cannot stand Chip and his goofy bullshit. And shiplap, my god the shiplap! Ugh!

      Most of these shows are getting stale anyway.

    • Melly says:

      Exactly. The whole point of what they do is fixing up houses to appeal to a wide variety of people. I like Flip or Flop. Christina always seemed like she was in control of the project and Tarek always valued her input. It makes me sad that they are going through this. I think Christina just had a baby and Tarek just recently underwent cancer treatment and back surgery.

      • Jo says:

        ITA..they aren’t interior designers to the stars. Most of their designs are modern because modern design is popular and appeals to many prospective buyers. As far as Tarek being sweaty or twitchy, maybe he’s a bit awkward in front of the cameras or could be an anxious person like myself..doesn’t mean he’s an addict. That’s really mean to assume he has a problem based off of his mannerisms.

      • Melly says:

        @Jo, I count agree more! If I was filmed while working people would mock my awkwardness and anxiety, and probably would assume I was on some sort of drug (it’s coffee, so much beautiful coffee).

      • AmunetMaat says:

        I liked their show just for the reasons you stated. I remember one episode where the contractor asked about the budget for a new fix, and Tarek was like well I mean I have learned to just ignore it because she’s going to get what she wants. She had a small smile on her face. He really did seemly give a lot of control and voice to her choices, which I valued as a viewer. That comment also gave me pause, because it seemed somewhat strained.

  11. Rhiley says:

    On weekend mornings I like to drink my coffee in bed and watch HGTV. My favorite Flea Market Flip, but I will watch the Gaines. However, if this is show is on, I will watch the news and then get going. This couple is anything but fun and relaxing. And there is proof they they really are a mess.

    • Lexie says:

      Flea Market Flip FTW!!!!

    • GingerCrunch says:

      Yep! Flea Market Flip is the best thing on HGTV these days. Just read a not-so-nice article on Nicole Curtis from Rehab Addict. WTH is going on over there???

      • PGrant's Girl says:

        @Gingercrunch: What did you read about Nicole Curtis?

      • pf says:

        Yeah, what did you read about Nicole Curtis? I like her and Rehab Addict is one of the few shows I can tolerate on HGTV besides House Hunters International and Hunting Vintage. Unless it’s a bad book review on Nicole’s new book, I have no idea what it could be.

    • Dani says:

      House Hunters international and caribbean life!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Rhiley says:

        House Hunters International I love too. I do like Tiny House Hunters but all of those people’s are such boobs. If the couples are interesting then the episodes are pretty good for any of those property buying houses.

      • Camille says:

        House Hunters Renovation is great too 👍🏻

  12. Merritt says:

    I hope Christina and the kids are living in a safe place. Tarek sounds extremely unbalanced and dangerous.

  13. Gene123 says:

    I read that since he’s been treated for thyroid cancer, he’s on a medication that can make people unstable and suicidal. That could explain this incident.

    They always bothered me because he couldn’t do anything on his own. They had to contract everything out. I feel like if you’re going to do house flips you should probably learn some basic skills so your budget isn’t insane to pay for contractors.

    • Rhiley says:

      They look like people who live way beyond their means.

      • gene123 says:

        That too! I know her father is the main investor so I am curious what this split means for their company

      • Dani says:

        They released a statement that they will continue their professional life the same. HGTV Is still recording the rest of the season and will keep airing this current one.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        @Dani – Let’s see how long them working together lasts! Too many issues and the tension would be unbearable…unless, of course, you are Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner! Seriously, Ben and Jen should have classes on how to get along with your ex!

  14. Frannydays says:

    They are extremely grating so glad I’m not alone in thinking so. Maybe HGTV will remove this terrible show from their network now.

  15. Bobafelty says:

    They’re still working together. In fact, they’re currently filming the next season together like normal while all this divorce drama happens. Apparently the show producers want to show them fighting and breaking up.

    • Andrea says:

      That’s terrible! Who wants to watch that!?! My best friend is on the brink of divorce and I certainly wouldn’t want to watch that on reality tv.

      • Merritt says:

        Pretty much everyone who watches most reality tv, wants to watch that. I don’t get it, but it is what airs and what people consume.

  16. KBeth says:

    This does not surprise me about Tarek, he is so twitchy and nervous….weird guy. Christina’s voice is like nails on a chalkboard & I so wish she would tone down the porn star clothes/makeup. Never understood the appeal of these two.
    At least Christina strikes me as a stable individual, hope she has the kids.

    • JulP says:

      Agreed. My husband and I watch this show (my husband is a fan, me not so much) and I’m always amused at how Christina looks like she’s heading to a nightclub (wearing high heels, fake eyelashes, and 10 lbs of makeup) when she’s just visiting houses/doing work on them. She is actually a beautiful woman who does not need to wear all of that makeup; it really ages her (and just looks tacky).

      And they are TERRIBLE at flipping houses — they always underestimate the costs (by a huge margin) and spend way too much on upgrades and ugly custom features that Christina comes up with. They never do their research either (I saw an episode where they bought a historic house and didn’t research which paints were acceptable before painting the exterior, then had to redo everything. They have also bought HOA homes before and made similar errors).

    • Melly says:

      Wow. Porn star clothes & makeup? What show are you watching??
      She always has really cute activewear and dresses, nothing porn star about it. You either watch really lame porn or you’re a bit of a prude with clothes lol!

      • BobaFelty says:

        I think it’s more that she looks so out of place on the job sites. High heels and white jeans can be cute, but not on an active job site where a nail could stab into your foot and cause you to lose a toe or worse! I dress up for work in the office, but always keep a pair of boots and jeans in the car for if I have to go to a jobsite (I’m in construction industry).

      • LaMaitresse says:

        Every time I’ve seen her, she’s usually in Lululemon, with a Vuitton or Chanel bag? Is that the new porn star look, because it’s very popular with a good deal of women her age in Toronto and Vancouver.
        Thyroid cancer is pretty lousy, and replacing synthetic thyroid in the body and getting his levels up may be giving him the “sweaty twitching look”. It’s pretty life affirming to go through cancer treatment, and a new baby, while shooting a television show.
        I liked them as a couple, and the homes are designed for the market, not one specific buyer. I can’t stand Chip Gaines, and that show becomes old pretty fast.

    • Merritt says:

      I really wish people would stop attacking women’s voices. This complaint is almost never made against men. There is very little a person can do about their voice.

      • KBeth says:

        Give me a break, criticizing ones voice is hardly gender specific.
        In fact there is plenty you can do to alter annoying speech patterns and/or pitch.

      • Beer&Crumpets says:

        Vocal fry is not an affliction, it’s a choice. A horrible choice. The wrong choice!

  17. Mel M says:

    I liked the show at first but then it just ends up being the same thing over and over like most of those shows. He had always bugged though. Definitely a man child and I never understood how she could stand him.

    • sherry says:

      I generally DVR, watch the beginning of the shows then fast forward to the reveal. There’s only so much, “Oh no! We wanted to give you a new Master Bathroom Suite, but this roof needs to be replaced, or termite damage, or basement needs waterproofing, or there’s outside drainage issues, or, or, or …. catastrophe!”

      • Mel M says:

        Oh gosh yes, all of those rehab redesign shows are like that and then I stop watching.

        What really bugged me about him was when he would walk into the house while it was being rehabbed in flip flops! Drove me nuts!

  18. JRenee says:

    The show is not my favorite, but I watch occasionally. I read this yesterday and thought how difficult it might be to continue to film while going through a divorce. But alas, the $$$ must be made.
    Chip can truly work my nerves, but I like the fact they they are doing the contracting & design. I also like that they have capitalized from the show and expanded their brand. I don’t know of any of the other house flip show folks who have done this. Online magazine, furniture line, the accessory store, a B & B etc. can be around long after the show ends.

    I like Flea Market flip!

    I just hate when they rerun one show so much, you get sick of it.

  19. whyme says:

    I never liked this show. I never like their work when they’re done. The show seems so scripted and fake and I just can’t with their personalities. That said, I hope the children are ok and whoever needs help gets it asap. However, I read on another site that they are both already dating other people. Soooo yeaaaaaah, don’t see this being healthy for anyone. Again, hope the kids are safe.

  20. Thaisajs says:

    I actually do like the show and think that they make the homes, generally, look fairly good. Not my design taste most of the time, although I did just put some large grey slab tile in one bathroom after I saw it on their show. (My older-but-updated bathroom looks quite nice now.)

    Anyway, sorry to see them break up, but since this is now public, can HGTV please take off that stupid holiday commercial where these two are acting all lovey dovey? According to People they broke up in the spring, which makes that commercial even more false.

  21. oce says:

    Please – f this dude were black he would have a million bullets in him back in May. #Whiteprivilige

    • Janetdr says:

      Well, I was thinking if his name was John Smith he would still have his guns…..

      • MrsBPitt says:

        He got his guns back. He posted pictures of himself shooting the AR15 in a recent post. However, if he is suicidal, it’s really not the best idea for him to have guns, no matter what color or name the dude has.

  22. Voldielocks says:

    No!!! So sad. My mom & I used to hate-watch this show together. We lovingly referred to it as “Flop or Flop” because… well, their business decisions & always being horribly, horribly over budget. But during our hate-watches, we developed quite the soft spot for them. Sad news. Hope that they can keep it civil for co-parenting’s sake & that Tarek can get the help he needs.

  23. Elizabeth says:

    Considering that it’s called Flip or Flop, I always think they should show more flops. Houses that never sell, or end up costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars, you know? Then I feel like I should feel guilty for feeling that way because I can’t stand them, but I don’t.

  24. teehee says:

    Am I the only one who saw it on that a&&oles face first thing— without even having seen him or reading the headline, he gave me red flags. Then I read the article. Yep.

  25. OCbetch says:

    The word around town here is that he’s been living on a boat in Newport for the last 6 months and that they both have been seen other people for quite some time.

  26. Libra girl says:

    W O W. This is truly upsetting. I can’t stand that show but gosh they have yoooooung kids. Hopefully she gtfo quick.

  27. Jennifer Jones says:

    If you watch him closely you will see that he has facial tics and other twitches. I think he has some sort of disorder. I started watching the first season on Netflix and both were such different people than they are today. She didn’t have caked on makeup and he seemed like a genuinely decent guy. Clearly there were issues not shown to the viewers but I could not have predicted this would happen. I also wasn’t aware that he owned guns but that does not make him a bad person. The cops had to take his guns for 30 days and then yes, he got them back because no charges were filed because he technically didn’t do anything illegal. A friend of Christina’s was in their bedroom and saw him take the gun from the safe and put it in his backpack and take off. I can honestly say I would have called the police, too.