The double life of Tarek El Moussa

Around four years into their wildly successful reality TV run, Flip or Flop stars Tarek and Christina El Moussa found themselves at the mercy of the tabloids, who reported that the couple didn't quite have the perfect marriage we all thought they did. But just how allegedly different is Tarek the professional from Tarek the father and husband? 

Well, for starters he allegedly dated his kids' 23-year-old nanny after his and Christina's marriage hit the skids. Also, don't count on him showing up at your local convention center to lead a real estate seminar like those glossy fliers you get once a week in the mail promise. That whole thing allegedly turned out to be a big bait and switch. And that's all on top of the whole "hiking with a gun" incident the ended with a massive police response and Tarek inventing a pretty wild self-defense excuse. 

Ready for more? Keep reading to discover the double life of Tarek El Moussa. 

Was the happy fam all for the Gram?

At first glance, Tarek and Christina seemed like your typical American family trying to balance a growing business with young kids. Sure, they weren't exactly as likable as Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of HGTV's Fixer Upper, but they seemed charismatic enough to convince people they were in love. Even doubters could turn to social media, where Tarek and Christina often posted "I'm so happy!"-esque photos with their two young children.

His marriage felt like a perpetual demo day

Despite what was shown on television and social media, the El Moussa marriage was apparently falling apart behind the scenes. In May 2016, according to TMZ, the couple allegedly got into a gasp-worthy fight that resulted in Tarek grabbing a gun and fleeing their home and Christina breaking down in tears. Word didn't get out about the explosive incident until December of that year, when the TV stars announced they were divorcing. At the time, they called the debacle an "unfortunate misunderstanding," which is a strange thing to say about a scenario that involved an emergency response from law enforcement and even a police helicopter. Understandably, viewers were totally confused. TV was presenting a Rembrandt; the tabloids were painting a Pollock.

Lions, and rattlesnakes, and guns, oh my!

The fight between Tarek and Christina was bizarre in and of itself. For example, Christina's now-new boyfriend, aka Gary Anderson, aka the family's contractor, was allegedly the one who called the police to report the incident, even though they supposedly were not an item at the time.

But perhaps the strangest part of the alleged incident was the smoking gun, so to speak. According to TMZ, after Tarek allegedly took the gun from their home, he fled to a nearby hiking trail, sparking fears of a possible suicide attempt. A whole bunch of cops caught up to him moments later, and when they asked him what he was doing with the weapon, he allegedly told them he "wanted to 'blow off some steam' and only brought the gun for mountain lions and rattlesnakes," TMZ reported.

Was that really his reason? Or was something else going on? We'll probably never know. In the meantime, that sure does sound like more than just an "unfortunate misunderstanding."

Did he get naughty with the nanny?

Much has already been written about Christina's new boyfriend, whom she allegedly started dating months after the infamous fight, but had Tarek also moved on before the couple announced its split? Sources for TMZ claim he allegedly had a brief fling with the couple's 23-year-old nanny, Alyssa Logan. The flirtation supposedly took place after he terminated their professional relationship in September 2016. It also lasted "barely a month," sources told Radar Online. Still, what the heck?

Drama seems to follow his relationships

Given all the drama that transpired in his marriage to Christina, it might not come as a surprise that one of Tarek's past relationships was allegedly messy. According to Radar Online, in 2003, he filed a restraining order against a former girlfriend, whom he claimed had been harassing him.

"I work full time and go to school at the university full time," Tarek reportedly claimed in court documents. "I am in bed by 11 and on-and-off for three years, I get calls in the middle of the night that wake me up. Sometimes she doesn't say anything and her friends laugh in the background. Other times she will say, 'I love you. I miss you. Why do you hate me? Can't we be together?'"

"When I'm not getting these calls, she has guys call me saying their [sic] going to f**k me up, key my car, jump me, shoot me, etc," he alleged. "She tells people awful things about me that aren't true that threaten my reputation as a real estate agent."

Does he not know how TV stardom works?

Tarek may have put on a cheerful face while cameras were rolling, but reports allege the couple's quick fame and fortune led him to resent Christina behind closed doors. "In a lot of ways they just seemed wildly incompatible. She has champagne tastes and he's a beer-from-a-can kind of guy. And that was okay for a while when all they could afford was canned beer—they were on the same page, working together to make it and to do the best with what they had," a source told People magazine. "But the stardom from the show, and the money from the show, meant that she started to feel like she could finally have some of the finer things in life."

The source continued: "The more she started to sparkle and shine, the more he sort of regressed. He just didn't or doesn't seem to love it the way she does—he's more awkward on camera, he doesn't love public speaking the same way, he wants to be a dude at home who has this day job which means going on TV, whereas she really loves being more a celebrity."

Sources also claimed Tarek had a tough time performing for the cameras, which proved to be a detriment to the show, as it "requires a decent degree of acting ability," reported People.

Train with Tarek and Christina! (Or one of their team members)

According to The Dallas Morning News, beginning in 2013, a company called Success Path began using Tarek and Christina's names and images for its expensive real estate training seminars. The faces of Flip or Flop reportedly received handsome payments but rarely attended the events. Radar Online claimed the El Moussas were cited in six complaints filed to the Federal Trade Commission from seminar participants who felt duped into thinking the El Moussas would be in attendance.

Radar says the pair's appearance schedule has since been clarified, with the seminar's website now stating, "Tarek, Christina, or one of their team members will attend each event. Exactly who will attend each event varies." The couple also released a statement on the matter to In Touch Weekly, saying, "More than 50,000 people have at­tended our seminars over the past three years and there have been less than 20 complaints. People have gone on to change their lives and achieve their dreams using our models and strategy."

The show must go on

When news broke that Tarek and Christina were divorcing, the fate of Flip or Flop was, naturally, up in the air. Well, not only did they keep shooting the year after their split, they continued to do so in the years following. In May 2019, Tarek confirmed on Instagram that Season 8 was in the can, and made no indication that they would stop there. 

In fact, during a joint appearance on Today in December 2018, Tarek had this to say of why they decided to continue professionally, while pulling the plug personally: "It's part of who we are and what we do, and for us to just throw everything away it just wasn't worth it. And at the same time, we love the crew, we love the show, we love our fans and we love the network." Christina added, "Most importantly we have two amazing kids together, so it's just easier to work together and get along." 

While it's great that these two have managed to make things work, Tarek did cop to "losing himself" during some medical struggles (He battled thyroid and testicular cancer) that occurred near the end of their marriage. "I forgot who I was, and what I was, and it really, really just awful to go through," he said.

Here's hoping these two can continue on this positive path!