“RHODubai”'s Chanel Ayan Says 'Nobody' Reached Out After Childhood Circumcision Reveal: 'Not Even My Closest Friends Knew'

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"I was on my own in my house crying, closing the curtains, now knowing that the whole entire world knows this," she said on the May 27 episode of the 'Two Ts in a Pod' podcast

<p>Dave Benett/Getty Images for Perfect X AMI</p> Chanel Ayan attends the Perfect Magazine and AMI Paris LFW Party at Dovetale at 1 Hotel Mayfair on February 19, 2024 in London, England

Dave Benett/Getty Images for Perfect X AMI

Chanel Ayan attends the Perfect Magazine and AMI Paris LFW Party at Dovetale at 1 Hotel Mayfair on February 19, 2024 in London, England

Nearly two years ago, Chanel Ayan revealed on an episode of The Real Housewives of Dubai that she and her older sister Ifrah were circumcised as children without her family’s knowledge.

Now, Ayan, 45, is opening up about that moment, telling Tamra Judge and Teddi Mellencamp on the May 27 episode of their Two Ts in a Pod podcast that “not even my closest friends knew I don't have a most of my vagina.”

The Kenya-born model also shared that, after her story aired on the August 2022 episode of RHODubai, she didn’t receive the reaction she expected.

“When my story aired, Tamra, nobody reached out to me, and I mean nobody reached out to me,” Ayan claimed. “I was on my own in my house crying, closing the curtains, now knowing that the whole entire world knows this about me.”

<p>Trae Patton/Bravo via Getty</p> From left: Sara Al Madani, Caroline Brooks, Lesa Milan, Francesca Amiker, Chanel Ayan, Caroline Stanbury and Taleen Marie of 'The Real Housewives of Dubai' at BravoCon 2023

Trae Patton/Bravo via Getty

From left: Sara Al Madani, Caroline Brooks, Lesa Milan, Francesca Amiker, Chanel Ayan, Caroline Stanbury and Taleen Marie of 'The Real Housewives of Dubai' at BravoCon 2023

Related: Chanel Ayan of 'RHODubai' and Her Sister Reflect on 'Unbreakable Bond' as Circumcision Survivors

Ayan said that in her predominately Muslim culture, people don’t typically discuss this type of subject matter.

“Everything I'm doing is, like, the opposite of what I'm supposed to be doing,” she said. “And then I got the worst backlash, man. ‘We don't accept you. We don't want you. Who the do you think you are?’ Like, I was being crazy. I was on my own. I was, like, so stressed. I was having bad thoughts. I was so angry with myself.”

The mom of teenage son Taj said she tried to “amp up myself” by listening to Nicki Minaj songs after filming “because I was really scared of what I did.”

“I had to tell my husband. I had to tell my son. I had to tell my sisters because I knew I'm gonna get a lot of backlash,” Ayan continued.

She called the fallout after the episode aired “the worst moment of my life," adding, "Every time I walk around, I don't think people see me as this girl that's, like, funny. I feel like the first thing they see me is they know my story, and I'm OK with that now."

Some good did come out of going public with her genital mutilation experience, though.

“Literally in the worst moments of my life, the messages I got from women that have gone through the same thing as me was insane,” Ayan said. “It was insane. I think that's one of the things that kept me going. And then listening to the stories, and then me sitting there and replying back.”

<p>Cedric Ribeiro/Getty Images for HUDA Beauty</p> Chanel Ayan with her famiily at a beach clean-up at The Secret Beach, Al Sufouh on June 07, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Cedric Ribeiro/Getty Images for HUDA Beauty

Chanel Ayan with her famiily at a beach clean-up at The Secret Beach, Al Sufouh on June 07, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Ayan previously told PEOPLE that her husband Christopher “supported me and loved me for who I am” after he learned about her circumcision at age 5.

"Nobody has ever heard me talk about it,” she said. “It wasn't a plan for me to do it. I was so embarrassed my whole entire life. I never slept."

Related: 'Real Housewives of Dubai' 's Chanel Ayan Reveals the Dark Reason She Snapped at Caroline Stanbury

The reality star ended up opening about it during a hypnotherapy session with fellow Housewife Dr. Sara Al-Madani. For Ayan, it helped her reclaim control of her narrative.

"Yes, I am a victim, but I have my power now because I talked about it," Ayan said. "I feel like saying it [helps me] to get me my power back and confidence that I've always lost in it with my body and things like that."

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Season 2 of The Real Housewives of Dubai premieres Sunday, June 2, at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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