Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Christina Hall's ex Tarek El Moussa confesses he 'didn't even know' their kids before split but is now 'best dad'

The former couple and Flip or Flop co-hosts' marriage imploded in 2016 before their 2018 divorce

Christina El Moussa and Tarek El Moussa arrive at the 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on April 30, 2017 in Pasadena, California
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz ColonOnline News WriterNew York
Share this:

Tarek El Moussa is opening up about his past mistakes, and speaking with candor about his progress as a father.

The former Flip or Flop star, 42, was previously married to Christina Hall from 2009 to 2018, and the two share kids Taylor, 13, and Brayden, eight. He is now also a dad to son Tristan, one, who he shares with Heather Rae Young, his wife since 2021.

These days, though the HGTV star is proud of his role as a father now, he's not afraid to admit that it wasn't always the case, and how his explosive divorce from the Christina on the Coast star, 40, was the reality check he needed.

WATCH: Christina Hall makes very rare appearance with husband Josh and ex-husband Tarek El Moussa

Speaking with E! News, Tarek confessed: "I wasn't a great dad. I wasn't even a good dad," adding: "I was stressed all the time. I was going through cancers and surgeries and hormones and steroids."

In the years leading up to his divorce from Christina, the real estate investor had suffered through battles with thyroid and testicular cancer, and was overly reliant on opioids to alleviate a previous back injury.

Still, looking back he said: "Every single thing that upset me, every single thing that stressed me out, meant nothing," maintaining: "The pain of losing my family was so much greater."

Photo shared by Heather Rae Young on Instagram August 2023 in a birthday tribute to her husband Tarek El Moussa, where she is pictured with her son Tristan, husband Tarek, plus his kids with Christina Hall, Taylor and Brayden© Instagram
Tarek with his wife Heather and his three kids in August of 2023

Tarek went on to recall the emotional transition of becoming a single dad, particularly the moment he realized he had never been by himself with his eldest daughter Taylor, who at the time was five years old.

MORE: Christina Hall explains key difference between herself and her parents as she takes on first time ever renovation job for them

MORE: Christina Hall reacts to 'highly offensive' rumors about herself with emotional statement

He revealed: "I'm doing bath time and I'm combing her hair, and I'll never forget just crying. Because it was a defining moment of realizing what I had been missing and what's important in life," before noting how he and his kids "didn't even know each other."

Photo posted by Tarek El Moussa on his Instagram October 1 2023 where he is planting a kiss on his daughter's head (Taylor, who he shares with Christina Hall) while celebrating her 13th birthday.© Instagram
The doting dad celebrating his daughter's 13th birthday in October

However, eight years later, he can confidently say: "I'm proud to say I've been the absolute best dad possible."

MORE: Christina Hall and daughter brave matching makeovers with new piercings

Gushing about what makes each of his kids so special, he first shared Taylor is "such a beautiful, stunning young lady," and: "She's thriving at school. She's a rock-star athlete, plays soccer, volleyball — and she's just such a happy, happy kid."

Photo shared by Heather Rae Young on Instagram August 2023 in a birthday tribute to her husband Tarek El Moussa's son with Christina Hall, Brayden, where he is pictured with his half-brother Tristan on his lap© Instagram
Tarek recently celebrated his youngest son Tristan's first birthday

Of his "mini-me" Brayden, he revealed: "He's ADHD, a little anxious, a little jumpy," though added: "And we've been having so much fun focusing on sports with him – jujitsu, soccer and he's obsessed with basketball."

Moreover, he said his relationship with his ex is "amazing," explaining: "Time heals. And enough time has passed to where all the anger and rage and the negative thoughts, I feel like they're finally gone," and ultimately noted: "The best thing that happened to me in my life, and the worst thing, was her leaving. Because it forced me to completely rebuild my life, and I started from the inside out."

Get the lowdown on the biggest, hottest celebrity news, features and profiles coming out of the U.S.  Sign up to our HELLO! Hollywood newsletter and get them delivered straight to your inbox. 

More Parenting

See more