A culture shock. When 90 Day Fiancé star Zied Hakimi moved to the United States to be with Rebecca Parrott, the Land of the Free was not exactly what he had in mind.
“He basically said, ‘This is not what I thought it was going to be,’ and he was very unhappy,” Rebecca, 49, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting season 8 of the TLC reality series. “He missed his family, and it was really hard. It was a struggle.”
It did not help that the couple got into “a rather large argument” shortly after Zied, 27, arrived in the U.S., according to Rebecca, who understood why he had such a tough time adjusting to his new life.
“I know if I were going to Tunisia and I was going to live there, I would have something in my head of what … to expect,” she told Us of Zied’s home country. “I don’t know what it would be, but I guarantee you sitting in quarantine wouldn’t have crossed my mind. That’s not something that’s in your toolbox to consider.”
Zied also encountered a lot of firsts upon joining the cast of the show, as Rebecca pointed out: “He’s never been married before. He’s never been in a long-term relationship before. He’s never been to another country before.”
Although Rebecca hoped that Zied would have a smooth transition to American life, the former private investigator’s new job made things all the more difficult. At the beginning of season 8, viewers learned that she had started working as a manager at a fast-food restaurant so that she could sponsor Zied’s K-1 visa.
“If I were in any — literally almost any — other field of work, this would have been a blessing in disguise,” she told Us. “Can you imagine [if] I would have gotten the stimulus checks and probably gotten unemployment to stay home? We would have thought it was written just for us. We would have gotten to stay together … or we would have killed each other. I don’t know. But you know, because of my job, it was just the worst possible scenario.”
All things considered, the reality stars were grateful that Zied was able to come to the U.S. at a time when many other people were not able to travel due to restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We actually got an email that said his interview had been moved up a week to my birthday, and we didn’t do anything for that. We’re not sure why that happened, but had that not happened, he would not be in America,” Rebecca explained to Us. “He would not have come when he did because he got here and within two days, COVID hit and everything was locked down. So we just made it under the wire.”
90 Day Fiancé airs on TLC Sundays at 8 p.m. ET. Rebecca’s episode of 90 Day Bares All, in which she’ll give an update on her relationship with Zied, premieres on Discovery+ January 24.
With reporting by Christina GaribaldiListen to Watch With Us to hear more about your favorite shows and for the latest TV news!
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