Coming clean. The Challenge star Tori Deal regrets hooking up with costar Fessy Shafaat after ending her engagement to Jordan Wiseley.
“It was the worst decision of my life,” the Are You the One? alum, 29, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, October 4, ahead of The Challenge: Ride or Dies premiere. “I mean, it’s, no offense to Fessy, like, you know, he’s a good person and … I was in a really bad spot. Like, I was just living in the s–t of my life.”
Deal continued: “Going through a breakup is hard. Rebounding is like a thing people do, but I like to think that … I’ve definitely put a lot of work into myself over growing the last two years now. I just put a lot of effort into that and [you] just gotta live with your mistakes and move on.”
Following her fling with Shafaat, 30, the reality TV personality didn’t speak to her former fiancé, 32, for a year and a half before they came face-to-face on the new season of The Challenge. “We hadn’t even talked, so it was kind of like, ‘Wow, this is all happening,'” she told Us, adding that she felt “a lot” of emotions upon her reunion with Wiseley. “It was just, like, absolutely insane.”
After meeting on The Challenge: Dirty Thirty in 2017, Wiseley proposed to Deal two years later while filming War of the Worlds. However, the pair called it quits in November 2020.
“I thought I knew love when Jordan and I were together, but there is a different kind of love that two people feel when they decide it’s time to experience life apart,” she wrote via Instagram at the time. “Even though Jordan and I are going to be moving forward in separate ways, our love, support, and connection with one another only grows stronger and deeper.”
Their amicable split soon turned messy, however, amid rumors that Deal had been unfaithful. Both she and Wiseley shut down the speculation, but her eventual fling with the former NFL player caused tension between the exes.
Despite the awkwardness, Deal never felt like she needed to “get out” of the situation. “I was searching for closure in any capacity. And so seeing him, it felt like an opportunity,” she explained to Us. “It didn’t feel like, ‘Let me run from … this part of my life.’ It was different.” The Adventures of Bumble Pea and Koala Pear author teased that fans will see “the trajectory” of their relationship on screen. “We definitely started off one way and then it ends another way,” Tori hinted. “It was a beautiful opportunity to reconnect, honestly. Looking back now, it was hard, but beautiful.”
It wasn’t always easy, however, especially when Wiseley hooked up with Nurys Mateo during filming. “Oh my God, it was so hard,” Deal confessed. “Obviously, I understand [we didn’t have] the cleanest breakup. Like, we broke up, I hooked up with Fessy after … [and] that triggered Jordan. … I understand that Jordan did things the way he wanted to … But I can say that I didn’t have an outlet. I didn’t have the ability to run from a camera when it was happening.”
She continued: “I was stuck in the house and in the environment and also still trying to play a game. It was definitely one of the most emotionally taxing seasons I’ve ever been on.”
In the end, though, Deal doesn’t regret filming Ride or Dies with her ex. “I would say that like, we are probably the best that we’ve ever been,” Deal told Us. “[Well,] not ‘ever been,’ obviously because we were like, about to get married. But you know, now we can definitely have a nice relationship that doesn’t feel toxic. … It just feels good. It feels good for both of us where we are right now.”
The Challenge: Ride or Dies premieres on MTV October 12 at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi