Shiva Safai is engaged to real estate mogul Mohamed Hadid — and she’s willing to share their ups and downs in front of cameras.
The 35-year-old model and entrepreneur is appearing in E!’s new series, “Second Wives Club” where she, along with three other celebrity wives, will chronicle what their high-profile relationships are really like. Safai spoke with Fox News about the couple’s 33-year age gap, and being welcomed by fashion’s It girls, her future stepdaughters Gigi and Bella Hadid:
Fox News: What prompted you to join a show like ‘Second Wives Club’?
Shiva Safai: If you had asked me five years ago, ‘Would you do a reality show?’ I would have said, ‘There’s no way.’ But having friends on different reality shows [made me see] it can be a great platform, and with the right show it would be a fun experience… It just felt right and it would show [viewers] the new modern family, the blended family and our everyday struggles.
Fox News: How did you and Mohamed Hadid meet?
Safai: It was just one of those random days. I met with a girlfriend and we went to have lunch. Mohamed was there waiting for his friend and it was an instant attraction. I don’t know if it was his piercing blue eyes that attracted me, but I just found him very different and intriguing. We connected on Facebook after that... He then asked me out on a date and it was just an instant chemistry. Everything felt so right and it was so comfortable. It was so easy… and I felt that we met each other at the right time in our lives.
Fox News: What’s your relationship like with Mohamed’s daughters Bella and Gigi?
Safai: Going into a relationship with someone who has kids, you don’t just wanted to get accepted by him, but also by all of his kids. I’ve been very blessed, honestly, to be welcomed into the family, not only by Gigi and Bella, but by all his kids. I’m truly grateful for that.
Fox News: When did he proposed?
Safai: He proposed two years later. We went to Bali and it was New Year’s Eve… As soon as we finished dinner, he pulled up my chair and said, ‘I need to have a talk with you.’ I really thought I had done something wrong! He then started tearing up and the rest, honestly, I can’t remember because I was balling. I was crying so much. And then I saw the ring and I was crying even more. I don’t remember the words he was saying, but I know I said ‘Yes!’ It was exactly what I wanted.
Fox News: One of the challenges you will tackle in the show is how Mohamed has taken a more relaxed approach to setting the wedding date. Why do you believe he’s taking his time?
Safai: Being divorced myself, I understand. There’s a lot of fear, especially for him, who has had two divorces in his past... I think it’s the fear that things might change after we get married, so he’s very hesitant about that. He’s like, ‘I just don’t want anything to change.’ I think its fear.
Fox News: Why address a personal issue in front of cameras?
Safai: I’ve been very honest with who I am. I’ve never tried to portray something different than what the reality is… I’ve just been very open and so has Mohamed. Why not do a show and share our life? Some people are also just so quick to judge and label you just because of your age gap, so I just felt that this will give the viewers a different picture. They can see how our relationship really is and how truly committed we are towards one another.
Fox News: Did Mohamed finally set the date?
Safai: Well, for that you’ve gotta wait and see the show! I can’t tell you that.
Fox News: What about children in the future?
Safai: I’ve learned in my past that trying to plan things never really worked out. I now go with the flow and whatever is meant to be, will be. If there’s kids in our future, that’s wonderful. If there isn’t, we’re both so content and happy with where we are in life that it’s not something we’re constantly bringing up.
Fox News: Let's go back to that age gap. Does it bother you when people bring it up?
Safai: It did in the beginning, just because I wasn’t used to it. It would bother me a lot, it would get to me. I felt like it was so mean for people to just judge you without knowing your journey... It used to bother me a lot, but then I realized I don’t need to prove myself to anyone. I am who I am, my family loves and supports us… so the rest? That’s not my problem.
Fox News: How do you feel about being a third wife, a theme that the show tackles?
Safai: I never want to live up to someone else’s expectations or try to fill in anyone’s shoes. Clearly, they didn’t work out, right? At the end of the day, we truly respect each other and support each other’s decisions. I don’t know, we’re like two peas in a pod! So I don’t need to prove myself to anyone. As long as we’re happy and we’re both content, that’s all that matters.
"Second Wives Club" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on E!.