Big Brother 25’s Hisam Goueli is setting the record straight on a controversial moment on the CBS reality series.
Hisam, 45, who became the third boot of the season during the Thursday, August 24, episode, was in the room when houseguest Luke Valentine used the N-word earlier this month in a conversation captured on the live feeds.
Luke, 30, was later expelled from the game for using the racial slur. When the news of Luke’s removal was delivered to the rest of the house, Cory Wertenburger admitted to hearing the offensive remark, while Hisam stated that he hadn’t heard it.
“I never heard it,” Hisam exclusively told Us Weekly on Friday, August 25, after his unanimous eviction. “If I had heard the word, I would’ve responded. I am not complicit in racism, in any stretch of the imagination. I was just literally trying to get to the shower. I mean, honestly, I was holding the door for Cory so that we could go to the shower. And I was wondering what was taking so long actually.”
Hisam added that he “didn’t assume anything had happened” because when he and Cory left the room, “[Cory] didn’t mention anything.”
He continued: “The truth is I never heard the word. Had I heard the word, I would’ve said something because I’m not complicit in that kind of behavior and CBS’ response [of expelling Luke] was totally appropriate.”
The geriatric physician was known for his willingness to speak his mind during his time on the show. After becoming Head of Household week two, he openly told Reilly Smedley that he was targeting her and asked the entire house for their cooperation in evicting her during the second veto meeting of the season.
Despite proving himself to be a strong physical competitor, Hisam’s no-nonsense demeanor began to irritate his alliance members and they orchestrated a plan to backdoor him. (A Big Brother backdoor occurs when a houseguest isn’t nominated until after the Veto is played, denying them an opportunity to compete for their safety.)
Hisam told Us that he knows he has a tendency to take the lead, which can rub people the wrong way at times. “I do have some self-awareness. I did realize that I was controlling the conversation,” he said. “The truth was that that [the week of my HoH reign] I thought it was a pretty clear decision that we were going after Riley. So, I didn’t think that there was actually much discussion to be had.”
Hisam’s demise was planned by his closest connections in the Professors alliance — particularly Felicia Cannon, Cirie Fields and Izzy Gleicher — and he told Us that it’s “hard not to feel betrayed” by their actions.
“I’m devastated. Of course I’m hurt,” he said. “You go back to the conversations you [had] and you’re realizing people are telling you things that are not true and you believe them because you trust them.”
Although Hisam said that his fate could have been avoided if his alliance members had “just talked to [him]” about their concerns, he acknowledged that “sometimes my behavior demonstrates that I may be unflappable or inflexible.”
The doctor tried to save himself by promising his former allies that if they kept him in the house, all would be forgiven and he would be completely loyal to them moving forward. Some viewers doubted whether he planned to keep the promise, but Hisam told Us that he meant what he said.
“I would’ve gone to the end [with them]. I’m a loyal person and we all make mistakes,” he said. “If you can’t forgive people, you just hold that inside and that just takes energy away from valuable things like connecting.”
Big Brother airs on CBS Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.