If you’re an HGTV fan, then you know the channel relies on one particular formula for success. First, they find an attractive married couple who work in real estate. The woman is usually into interior design and loves shiplap, while the dude prefers installing granite countertops and making dad jokes. They give these people a show with a cutesy name like Fixxer Upper or Desert Flippers, and then the show follows them through the process of flipping homes, complete with lots of emphasis on their perfect relationship and tons of manufactured drama, like cabinets painted the wrong shade of gray and late furniture deliveries and omg, will they finish on time??
It’s a tried and true recipe that turns home flippers into household names. But now, it seems, one of HGTV’s most popular couples is experiencing some serious off-screen drama as well.
Flip Or Flop‘s Tarek and Christina El Moussa just announced they’re splitting up after 7 years of marriage.
News of the split comes just 6 months after police were called to the El Moussa’s home over a scary dispute. According to TMZ, police showed up at the house after Tarek threatened to commit suicide in May. He fled the house with a gun and was later spotted on a hiking trail by a police helicopter. Tarek denied being suicidal, but deputies ended up seizing 5 guns from the couple’s home, including an AR-15. While there were no reports of infidelity during their relationship, there have been reports that they’ve already started seeing other people.
The incident drove the couple to marriage counseling over the summer. Now, they say they’re separating while they re-evaluate the future of their marriage.
Despite the split, the pair plan to continue co-parenting and working on their show.
In a statement to TMZ, they called the police incident an “unfortunate misunderstanding” and said they’ll continue to work through their issues “civilly and cooperatively, and plan to continue our professional life together.” They stopped short of using the word “divorce” but the language they’re choosing sounds pretty permanent, no?
Of course, HGTV is no stranger to controversy. Tarek and Christina have already been dragged by fans for charging them money to learn how to flip houses and then not showing up at the seminars. The network has also had to deal with the revelation that Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines attend a church that’s outspoken against the LGBT community. And, with as falsely wholesome as HGTV tries to make their hosts relationships seem, it’s not exactly hard to predict there’s drama going on behind the scenes. We’ve even written before about how totally unrealistic the premise of Flip Or Flop is.
Fans are probably stoked they’ll still see Tarek and Christina on HGTV, but house-flipping divorcées are uncharted territory for the network.
HGTV thrives on manufacturing perfection, from the homes they show being renovated to the perky, all-American, and oh-so-in-love couples who host their programs. Tarek’s alleged suicidal ideations and the drama between him and Christina is no laughing matter, and it’s definitely not something the network can just gloss over. It’ll be interesting to see if they’re actually willing to admit there can be this much daunting and scary trouble in paradise.