'90 Day Fiance' couple Bilal and Shaeeda explain the backstory behind Bilal's prank and their regrets about it
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/08/2022
90 Day Fiance couple Bilal Hazziez and Shaeeda have explained there is a bigger story behind Bilal's prank with the white van and his childhood home, and now they both have regrets about it.
Bilal, a 42-year-old real estate investor and agent from Kansas City, MO, and Shaeeda, a 37-year-old yoga instructor from Trinidad and Tobago, are currently starring on 90 Day Fiance's ninth season on TLC.
Bilal has faced backlash for picking Shaeeda up at the airport in a white work van that wasn't his and making her think his "dilapidated" childhood home was his current home. Some fans even accused Bilal of gaslighting his fiancee.
When asked if he regrets the prank, Bilal admitted during a joint Entertainment Tonight interview with Shaeeda, "I definitely would say I'd probably do some things differently, for sure."
"But to put things in context, yeah, there was an element of a test, but it was really more of a prank, and it was a [continuation] prank that [Shaeeda] actually started," Bilal revealed.
Bilal shared how when he visited Trinidad and Tobago, he asked Shaeeda to pick out an AirBnB for him to stay at since he wasn't familiar with the area.
"The AirBnB was in the middle of the worst crime area -- ever," Bilal said, adding that Shaeeda's mother had spilled the beans he was staying in a really bad neighborhood.
"It was like I was in an institution," he recalled with a laugh. "There was like, barb-wire fencing around the premise. It was a bad area. She thought it was very funny."
Shaeeda joked, "He said he's hood bougie, so I put him in the hood with a little bit of bouginess. It was still bougie because it had a fence around it... and so he was protected."
Bilal therefore confirmed how he and Shaeeda both like to joke around and have a similar sense of humor.
"So in the back of my mind, I was like, 'Okay, good one. I was there for seven days -- not one, but seven -- so I was like, 'You know what? I'm gonna [get] you back," Bilal explained.
"And then with the house, I just really wanted to surprise her because she was seeing a lot of pictures of like, 'Oh, this is the type of home I'd like to live in.' And I was thinking to myself, 'That house kind of looks like the house I live in already,'" Bilal said.
Bilal, however, admitted there was little truth behind his joke in that he wanted to test Shaeeda if she'd be okay with a very humble lifestyle.
Up to that point, Shaeeda had told him that she's "in it to win it" and would definitely stay with him if he lost all of his money and had to start from scratch.
"Everybody says that, but then when you put them into that role, [things turn out differently]," Bilal said.
Bilal shared how there was quite a bit of symbolism in his prank as well. He drove his father's white van to pick Shaeeda up at the airport, and his father recently passed and never got a chance to meet Shaeeda in person.
And Bilal spent more than 20 years growing up in that little light-blue house, which his father had helped to build.
"It was sentimental. It was a way of really introducing her to my father," Bilal said. "I really feel him there... but also to show her, 'These are my roots. This is me and this is where I came from.'"
Shaeeda therefore admitted she regrets her, "This looks like Sanford and Son," comment once she sat in the white van.
"When he playing this test on me, I was totally unaware," Shaeeda explained. "I was thinking this was his truck... with no sentimental value."
Bilal noted how Shaeeda was "killing" him with her comments and almost had him rethinking their relationship and her sincerity. He said the prank turned into, "Oh man, you're taking shots at me!"
Shaeeda reiterated how she was "so upset" and "so angry" in the moment.
"I was trying to hold back a lot of anger at him, you know? Because he met me and I'm a woman with standards. Just because you have standards, doesn't mean you have to be rich," Shaeeda said, before pointing out how the house had broken windows, peeling paint and a collapsing ceiling.
"Just because it's a humble home, doesn't mean it has to be dirty. That was my heartbreak."
And when Bilal asked Shaeeda if she wanted to get takeout for dinner, she snapped at him, "From a clean bowl, yeah... Do you have enough money for that?"
"I regret that," Shaeeda confessed of the rude comment.
"It was insulting towards him, I was so upset. I was like, 'You want to buy me food when you can't even take care of our home?' First of all, I'm thinking, 'If you can't maintain your home, what makes you think you can maintain me?'" Shaeeda explained.
"You know, I gave up my life, I closed up my yoga business, I made this huge move to America with a little bit of savings in my pocket, but at the same time, I'm depending on him because I can't work. So he's my main source of income."
Shaeeda was thinking Bilal should take the food money and put it into the house.
"But I should not have said that to you," Shaeeda told Bilal.
"I wish he would not have tested me because I was holding back so [many] things I wanted to say and this could have destroyed us," Shaeeda noted.
"I was really trying to bite my tongue. If I lost my cool and he kept me there for a longer time, what would have happened to us?"
In fact, Bilal and Shaeeda "still have arguments" based on that prank.
"We haven't got past this test. It still comes up; he still talks about it and says how much I hurt his feelings," Shaeeda disclosed. "And I try to express my point of view, so he tested me on something that really could have, you know... it's just too heavy."
Bilal -- who insisted he had spent the whole weekend before cleaning his childhood home -- said he wanted to teach Shaeeda never to judge a book by its cover.
"Just because a person drives [an older] truck or does things like that, doesn't mean they're not successful," Bilal said.
But Shaeeda was absolutely thrilled once she saw Bilal's real home, and he said her reaction -- namely to the yoga studio he had built for her -- was "exactly" what he was looking for in-person.
"You can't get that [reaction] if I showed her a picture or video, so that's why I was holding certain things [back]. It wasn't to be malicious and it wasn't to be disingenuous or to be dishonest. It was to show you, 'Hey, I'm going to surprise you!'" Bilal shared.
After meeting on social media and communicating for some time, Bilal flew to the Caribbean to meet his love interest in person. After spending only a week together in person, Bilal proposed marriage and then they applied for the K-1 visa so they could start their life together in America as soon as possible.
A couple of months later, however, the coronavirus pandemic hit, and so Shaeeda and Bilal weren't able to see each other for a whopping two years.
"I just feel like she had the essence of things that I was looking for, great motherly qualities for my children and any future children to come," Bilal gushed.
On why he fell for her, he added of Shaeeda, "She was ambitious, she wears her faith on her sleeve, she's very God conscious, so a lot of different qualities I was looking for she possessed."
The couple teased there's a lot more drama to come on90 Day Fiance's ninth season.
"With Bilal, there was a lot of things I was not prepared for," Shaeeda noted. "I just want fans to know this is a real relationship... You're going to see moments when we argue or we disagree or we're in love."
Shaeeda said she and Bilal are both Muslim individuals but they still have "problems like everyone else."
Bilal added, "You're gonna see a roller coaster and you have to remember, we're still trying to get to know each other."
To read spoilers on Bilal and Shaeeda's relationship and whether they got married and are still together, click here.