'Shahs of Sunset' Star Mike Shouhed's Ex Claims He Threatened Her With a Hitman

Paulina Ben-Cohen also alleges Mike held a gun to her head in a 2021 dispute.

Reese Watson - Author
By

Mar. 26 2024, Published 4:00 p.m. ET

Mike Shouhed at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills on July 17, 2019.
Source: Getty Images

Reality TV alum Mike Shouhed of Bravo's Shahs of Sunset thought he walked away from the 14 criminal charges lodged against him in 2022 unscathed. After being accused of assaulting his now ex-fiancé, Paulina Ben-Cohen, while living in her Los Angeles home at the time, he received a slap-on-the-wrist punishment, which included anger management, parenting, and gun safety courses, per TMZ,

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However, it seems as though Mike’s reign of innocence may be cut short.

On March 22, 2024, Paulina filed a civil lawsuit against Mike in the County of Los Angeles, delving deep (very deep) into the alleged string of events that took place the night Mike was arrested. In court documents obtained by Distractify, Paulina lists quite a few alarming threats Mike allegedly made, one of which includes mention of a hitman. Here are the details.

Paulina Ben-Cohen alleges Mike Shouhed threatened to "put her away" with the help of his hitman.

TV Personality Mike Shouhed arrives at the Opening of Galerie Montaigne on Feb. 19, 2016.
Source: Getty Images

On the evening of March 27, 2022, Paulina alleges in her lawsuit that after putting her kids to bed and setting up her hookah, Mike spent several minutes berating her from another room in the house. Eventually, Paulina suggested that he leave. She then proceeded to go to the bedroom where he stored his clothes and shoes, and began packing up some of his things. That’s when things got heated.

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In several of the photos Paulina's legal team — Carpenter & Zuckerman — attached to the lawsuit (which appear to be from home cameras), Mike can allegedly be seen getting physical with her. At one point, he appears to throw her to the ground, causing a clothing rack stationed with garments to fall on top of her.

The lawsuit states that Mike then “bent over her, struck her in the face, and then put his hand over her face and tried to suffocate her as she writhed on the ground and struggled to breathe.” Paulina claims that after she managed to get to her feet, she left the room and that’s when Mike “threatened to kill [Paulina] and told her he had a hitman who would put her away.”

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Paulina Ben-Cohen's domestic violence civil lawsuit filed against Ben Shouhed in March 2024.
Source: Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

Photos also reveal that the dispute eventually moved to the kids’ playroom, where Mike allegedly continued to lay his hands on Paulina. At one point, the lawsuit states Mike “[suffocated Paulina] with both of his hands for two seconds.”

Paulina says Mike then grabbed her right wrist and continued to keep his right hand over her mouth, “[suffocating] her for another six seconds."

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The tussling continued for several more minutes until Paulina’s nanny, who had been staying on the opposite side of the house, heard her plea for help and came. The lawsuit claims the nanny asked Mike to leave, though he “went upstairs to retrieve one of his firearms.” The police were then called, and after arriving at the residence, Mike was arrested.

Paulina also alleges Mike Shouhed pulled a gun on her in 2021.

Based on the court documents, Mike may have a history of making violent threats toward Paulina. She claims in her civil lawsuit that in 2021, while taping a scene for Shahs of Sunset, Mike threatened to kill Paulina after she “exposed photos of very disturbing text messages he had sent to another woman,” the lawsuit notes.

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This apparently all played out at another cast member’s home. Additionally, Paulina alleges Mike blamed her for “destroying his reputation” and threatened to “ruin her life” for doing so.

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After arriving home from said taping, the arguing worsened, with Mike allegedly “[putting] a gun up to her head and [telling] her he was going to murder her while making statements like 'you think you can destroy my reputation, not even my ex-wife ruined my reputation the way you did.'" On another occasion, Mike allegedly told Paulina, "Tonight is the night I’m going to kill you," after the two attended a dinner event at a Shahs of Sunset cast member’s home.

Paulina is now seeking unspecified damages and punitive damages.

Paulina is now seeking damages, in an amount to be determined in court, for the “serious physical and emotional injuries” Mike allegedly caused her to suffer.

John C. Carpenter, an attorney representing Paulina, exclusively told Distractify, “This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated.”

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How long were Mike Shouhed and Paulina Ben-Cohen together?

Mike and Paulina went public with their relationship during Season 8 of Shahs of Sunset, which premiered in February 2020. By 2021, they were engaged. It’s unclear when the couple called it quits, though we’re guessing it was sometime after the March 2022 incident.

Based on a quick scroll through Paulina’s Instagram page, it’s clear she is trying to move on.

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