Heather Rae Young Defends Herself and Tarek El Moussa From Backlash Over Controversial Easter Party

HGTV star Tarek El Moussa and his wife, Heather Rae Young, recently celebrated Easter with their family. Part of their celebration included real bunnies, which drew backlash from fans who criticized the famous couple for using live animals as “props.” Here’s what the Selling Sunset star said about the event and how she defended herself and her Flip or Flop star husband.

Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young pose together at an event.
Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young had a ‘real life bunny petting’ at their family Easter party

On Apr. 18, Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young shared Instagram posts showing how their family celebrated Easter. They shared several photos of El Moussa’s two children with his ex, Christina Haack, holding and playing with live bunnies.

“We had such a fun Easter!!” El Moussa wrote in his since-edited caption. “We started off the day by surprising the kids with real life bunny petting! It was so cute especially when the bunnies kept peeing on the kids🤣🤣🤣”

In Young’s Instagram post, she wrote in her caption that the bunnies could become an annual tradition. “I think we may have added a new tradition with the bunnies!!” the Netflix star wrote. “The kids loved it so much they just lit up when I saw them and it was a really special thing we did.”

Both El Moussa and Young’s posts are still up, but they have made some edits since receiving a wave of backlash from fans. El Moussa deleted any mention of the bunnies from his caption, and Young erased her idea of making borrowing the animals an annual tradition.

Fans slammed Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young for using real bunnies as ‘props’ at their Easter party

Not only did Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young edit their Easter post captions, but they also turned off the comments. As Showbiz Cheat Sheet previously reported, several fans were very unhappy with the couple for incorporating live animals into their party. 

Here are some of the comments that fans left on the couple’s posts before they were deleted.

“The bunnies urinate when they are scared,” one fan wrote to El Moussa in response to his original caption. “Hope they were treated humanely. I’ll never understand why live animals are treated like trinkets 😓”

Another fan commented, “Why do people rent small animals for parties! The bunnies are clearly scared!”

Young, who has been vegan for over 12 years, received similar comments on her post. 

“I know you’re vegan and love animals so pleeeease encourage your followers not to buy bunnies for Easter,” wrote one fan. “They’re abandoned en masse after the holiday and shelters are brimming. They make amazing pets but are so fragile and live for 10-12 years ❤️”

“This makes me really sad 😢 I have a pet bunny I rescued 4 years ago. When I see how people treat them like ‘props’ for Easter every year, it makes me wanna cry,” said another fan. “When Easter’s over, they get dumped or mistreated.. Everyone who’s thinking about ‘renting’ (can’t believe I’m even using this word for a living animal) or borrowing bunnies for Easter, should instead go help to a bunny shelter.”

And one fan commented, “I thought you were vegan and cared about animals? This is so sad please do better.”

The ‘Selling Sunset’ star defended herself and her ‘Flip or Flop’ star husband

On Apr. 19, Heather Rae Young shared a series of posts to her Instagram Stories defending herself and Tarek El Moussa for using real bunnies at their Easter party. 

“I cant [sic] believe I am having to explain myself but it was brought to my attention that there are lots of nasty comments about the bunnies…” Young started the message. “Our whole family are animal lovers, I have been vegan for most of my life, I am very passionate about animals and am always an advocate for ALL animals!!”

She continued, “We wanted a fun and cute experience for the kids, so did tons of research and found an amazing local bunny farm with an amazing mission that we wanted to support!”

The Netflix star explained in her next Story that the bunnies aren’t “forced to breed,” they are “never caged,” and are “extremely loved and cared for!” 

“Please refrain from judgement [sic] and negativity without knowing the full story 🙏🙏,” she concluded. “No need for all of the hate and nasty comments!”

In the following Story, Young shared a screenshot of the farm where the bunnies came from, called Orange County Bunny Farm. “If you want to learn more or see the bunny farm for yourself you can see it here 🤍,” Young wrote before tagging the account @fufu.n.friends.

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