HGTV's Flip or Flop Stars Tarek and Christina El Moussa Separate

Couple splits over an "unfortunate misunderstanding" that led to a 911 call in May 2016

By Zach Johnson Dec 12, 2016 4:35 PMTags

Tarek El Moussa and Christina El Moussa are putting their house in order.

The El Moussas, who host the popular HGTV series Flip or Flop, announced their split early Monday morning. "Like many couples, we have had challenges in our marriage. We had an unfortunate misunderstanding about six months ago and the police were called to our house in an abundance of caution," they told E! News. "There was no violence and no charges were filed."

The couple tied the knot in 2009 have two children: Taylor, 6, and Brayden, 15 months.

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The HGTV stars' announcement came after TMZ reported that police had responded to "call of a possibly suicidal male with a gun" from the couple's Orange County home in May. According to an incident report obtained by E! News, Christina "was crying and shaking" when police arrived on the scene. She said Tarek "took a handgun, put it in his backpack and ran outside."

Eleven officers and a helicopter searched for Tarek, who'd fled the house with a firearm. It didn't take long for the helicopter to spot Tarek, and police ordered him to drop his weapon. Tarek complied and said he only wanted to "blow off some steam" and go for a hike. He brought a gun with him for protection, since there are "mountain lions and rattlesnakes in the area."

Afterward, police searched their home and seized five guns, including an AR-15. Per the incident report, "Tarek agreed to voluntarily relinquish all of his firearms for safekeeping for 30 days."

Later, when questioned by police, Christina said she was on the phone with a friend when she saw Tarek remove a handgun from the safe in their bedroom. "Tarek did not make any threatening statements to her and he did not make any comments about hurting himself or anyone else," the incident report states. "She also denied that Tarek had ever been suicidal."

The El Moussas told E! News they began counseling to "sort out" their relationship after the incident. The two have since decided to separate as they evaluate "the future of our marriage."

Flip or Flop will continue as planned, according to the El Moussas. The network, however, has not commented on the show's current status. "During the process, we are committed to our kids and being the best parents we can be," the exes said. "We will continue to work through this process civilly and cooperatively, and plan to continue our professional life together."

In a statement, HGTV told E! News, "We admire and appreciate Tarek and Christina's great work on Flip or Flop. When it comes to matters related to their own family, we respect their privacy and honor any decision that works best for them and their children. HGTV is currently airing episodes of Flip or Flop and the series will continue production as scheduled."

—Reporting by Taylor Bryant

If you or someone you know needs help, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.