Tarek El Moussa Defends Himself Against Eviction Controversy (And Makes It Worse)

HGTV star Tarek El Moussa is finally speaking out after being accused of evicting a group of North Hollywood, California renters from their homes. The star of "Selling Sunset" has been facing heavy backlash ever since the disturbing news broke, but he hasn't personally responded to the accusations ... until now. On Aug. 4, he posted a lengthy statement on Instagram to explain his side of the story and put an end to the internet dragging he's received.

"Please let me clear something up regarding a new project. I am one of the partners of NoHo 138 working on purchasing the Hartsook property in North Hollywood for redevelopment," El Moussa's statement begins. "Even though I am being dragged for false accusations and misconceptions, my intentions are to do good, and I hope that we can focus on the positive and the facts."

He immediately denied being the one who gave out the eviction notices and Ellis Act relocation documents to the Hartsook tenants. He claims that the current owner of the building is responsible for doing so — he is simply purchasing the building. 

"The partners of NoHo 138 have attempted to get in touch with the remaining tenants to have an amicable discussion regarding final move-out agreements. The partners of Noho 138 have also reached out to the attorney representing the Hartsook tenants to request assistance in facilitating a meeting between both parties," El Moussa continued. "Our intentions are to work with the tenants to offer a great opportunity for them while helping to improve the neighborhood."

The response to his statement has been largely negative

Tarek El Moussa might have hoped his statement would ease the tension between him and the tenants of Hartsook, but the comments he's received have surely dashed that hope (El Moussa later deleted all comments on the Instagram post).

"Does it feel good to kick senior citizens out of their homes so you can make a 'flip' show? Super feel good to make people homeless?" a commenter questioned, possibly referencing a tenant's claim that El Moussa called the project "the biggest flip of his life" while filming at the apartment complex (via Reddit). Another debunked El Moussa's "brag" of including 14 low-income units in the planned project. "14/138 = 10%. The minimum required by LA law. That's not a brag, that's a requirement," a user pointed out.

El Moussa, who is one of the richest HGTV stars, pushed back on the disparaging comments rolling in. Before deleting them all, he responded to many, either to defend his name or give a quick retort. "I'm giving them money to go to a new home," he wrote to one user who accused him of only caring about money. Another user echoed the sentiment, stating, "He's tearing down a historic building, the last of its kind on the block, displacing people who have lived there for decades, all so he can make money. It's pretty simple. He values $$ over the lives of the people that live there. " El Moussa's response was simply, "Liar."

The comments weren't all pitchforks and torches; El Moussa's wife Heather posted a heart emoji to show support for her spouse — before he wiped the comments.