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HGTV star Tarek El Moussa says new book is an ‘apology’ to his family, ‘I wasn’t the best guy’

Tarek El Moussa is reflecting on how his past experiences led him to where he is now. 

During an appearance on Wednesday’s episode of “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” the HGTV star opened up about how his new book, Flip Your Life: How to Find Opportunity in Distress – in Real Estate, Business, and Life,” and why he looks at it as an “apology” to all those he wronged in the past – including ex-wife Christina Hall

“I felt like I had to be honest,” he told Hudson. “The only way to tell the real story is to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It was my time to share what I went through. In a lot of ways, it was an apology to my family, to my ex-wife, to my children, to my mom, to my dad, kind of to everybody.”


Tarek El Moussa and ex-wife Christina Hall

Tarek El Moussa and ex-wife Christina Hall first separated in 2016. (Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)


In the book, which was released last month, El Moussa opens up about his many struggles over the years and details how he rebuilt his life following battles with cancer, mental health issues, addiction and a “very public” divorce from Hall. 

“When you’re going through multiple cancers back to back, and you’re in surgeries, and you have no thyroid, you do things you normally wouldn’t do,” he explained to Hudson. “Not that it was an excuse, but I wasn’t the best guy during those years.”

In 2016, El Moussa made headlines for an incident in which he left his house after a fight with then-wife Hall and was approached by police in a helicopter along a wooded trail.

A photo of Tarek El Moussa

Tarek El Moussa says he considers his new book an “apology” to the people in his life. (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Empire State Realty Trust)

As he wrote in his book, according to excerpts from People, he simply felt like clearing his head after a heated argument with Hall, so he jumped a fence in his backyard and went for a walk on a trail in Chino Hills State Park behind their house.

He said he has a concealed-carry permit and brought his gun as an “insurance policy” because there are mountain lions and bobcats on the trail.

Soon he noticed a helicopter overhead and thought maybe there was a wildfire. But then it became clear they were there for him.


“A police officer leaning out of the helicopter pointed a rifle at me,” he wrote in the book. “Dust swirled around me from the spin of the blades, and a loudspeaker crackled, ‘Get your hands in the air!'” 

He said the officer called his name and he answered, “‘Yes! I’m the guy from TV! What are you guys doing?'”

A close-up of Tarek El Moussa looking serious

Tarek El Moussa has struggled with his mental and physical health in recent years. (Getty Images)

It turns out Hall had called 911 after he left and for the “next several hours I sat on a cooler on my driveway, handcuffed.” 

He added, “That was the very last time we were together as a family: with Christina walking down the driveway, crying, and me sitting there in handcuffs, asking myself, ‘What in the world is going on?’”

Six months later, he and Hall publicly announced their split.

Speaking to Hudson, El Moussa said, “What really broke me was my divorce. That was exponentially more difficult than every issue in my entire life put together, but somehow I got through it.”

In 2018, El Moussa told Dr. Drew on his podcast that there were “so many contributing factors” to the end of his and Hall’s marriage.

Tarek El Moussa smiling and wearing a dark suit

Tarek El Moussa was diagnosed with both thyroid and testicular cancer. (Getty Images)

“My hormonal levels were off, and I wasn’t feeling really well a lot of the time and I just wasn’t being the best person I could have been,” El Moussa, who was diagnosed with two different types of cancer toward the end of their relationship, told Dr. Drew. 

The couple share two children together: Taylor, 13, and Brayden, 8. 


In September, El Moussa took to social media to share how he managed to overcome all his struggles. 

Heather Rae El Moussa cradling Tarek El Moussa's face

Heather Rae El Moussa and Tarek El Moussa share one child together, a 1-year-old son named Tristan. (Getty Images)

“I built myself back up, met the love of my life, started seven successful companies, two hit TV shows, had my third child and achieved goals I never thought possible,” said El Moussa, who married wife Heather Rae in 2021. 

The couple shares one son together: Tristan, 1. 

In 2023, El Moussa told Fox News Digital he was the “happiest” he’d ever been in his life. 

“I honestly I mean, this is the happiest, hands down, the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. You know, I love being in my 40s. I love being established. I love my family. I love my wife. I love my kids. Like, I couldn’t be happier, and that’s the truth.”

Fox News Digital’s Brie Stimson contributed to this report.

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