Tarek El Moussa Reveals How He was Arrested for Attempted Murder

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Once upon a time, back in the early 2010s, Terak El Moussa and Christina Hall were married with children and working together, costarring on the home renovation show “Flip or Flop.”

Their marriage ultimately ended in divorce, and the show eventually ended as well. They have both gone on to remarry and have additional children and additional TV credits.

Now, in El Moussa’s new book “Flip Your Life: How to Find Opportunity in Distress—in Real Estate, Business, and Life” the home renovation expert is sharing stories about his life that he has never shared before, including multiple times he has flipped his own life. As a result, he describes the book as more than just a memoir. It’s also a self-help book since it includes real examples of how he changed his life after hitting rock bottom.

One example he includes in the book is from his high school days. Standing up for his friend ended up landing him in jail and being accused of attempted murder. In an excerpt from his new book shared by PEOPLE, he explains that when he was a sophomore in high school, his friend’s girlfriend started dating another guy. As a result, his friends decided to fight the new guy’s friends. What they didn’t know until they arrived at the park to fight was that the other guys were bringing weapons including crowbars and baseball bats.

The fight escalated, and El Moussa writes, “During the free-for-all, an older guy—maybe nineteen or twenty—stepped toward me and swung his bat. I tried to jump out of the way, but the bat connected, hard—hard enough to break my ribs. As a reaction, I dropped my arm and knocked the bat out of his hands. I grabbed the bat and hit him in the head. He dropped to the pavement and went unconscious.”

The next thing he knew, “the older brothers of the guys we had just fought” were running towards him, crowbars in their hands. He credits the police for saving his life that day because the police arrived at that exact moment. He wrote, “When I came to, I was sitting in the back of a police car, in handcuffs, charged with assault and battery, aggravated assault, attempted murder, and assault with a deadly weapon. Today I’m convinced that the police arrived at exactly the right moment. If I hadn’t been arrested, I would have been killed.”

The charges were ultimately dropped when an investigation revealed that El Moussa had used a weapon in self defense, but that experience and his time in a juvenile detention center, “scared the hell out of” him and convinced him to “throw myself into fights that really mattered, ones that wouldn’t get me killed.”

Another story El Moussa shares in his book is about his divorce. He admits that he “lived in a halfway house” following the divorce. Watch the video below to learn more about way El Moussa checked himself into a halfway house.