Chris “CT” Tamburello is one of the most iconic players ever to compete on MTV’s The Challenge. Fans have gotten to know both his fiery temper and his softer, sweeter side over nearly two decades on reality television. But fans know far less about his wife, Lilianet Solares, the mother of his young son, CJ.
Solares agreed to have their wedding ceremony televised for an MTV special, which aired in December 2018. She and Tamburello opened up about the family drama that preceded the nuptials and gave viewers a glimpse into their parenting styles. But Solares has remained an intensely private person despite her husband’s notoriety. She has rarely shown up on Tamburello’s social media profiles and Solares either deleted or suspended her own profiles after their relationship became public knowledge. Solares has since created an Instagram account under the name “mrstamburello1123” but it is private.
Here’s what you need to know about Lilianet Solares:
1. Lili Solares & CT Tamburello Actually Got Married at a Courthouse Four Months Before The Big Ceremony Seen on MTV
The world watched Lilianet Solares walk down the aisle in the MTV special The Challenge: CT’s Getting Married in December 2018. The ceremony took place in September during the hurricane season in Miami, Florida. There were concerns that rain could damper the celebration, as discussed in the clip embedded above. Solares’ father said that rain was a blessing from God, to which Tamburello joked, “Tell that to Lili!” Ultimately, the rain held off long enough to allow the couple to have their outdoor ceremony without a tent.
But Solares and Tamburello had already been officially married for four months prior to the big ceremony with family and friends. According to records from the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts, the couple applied for a marriage certificate on May 4, 2018.
Tamburello and Solares then had a courthouse ceremony on May 31, 2018. The license information available online shows they were married in Coral Gables. The record also shows that Solares is a little more than 11 years younger than Tamburello. He was born in July 1980 and she was born in November 1991.
2. Lili Solares Was Born In Cuba & Previously Worked as a Model
Lilianet Solares and CT Tamburello met after he moved from Massachusetts to southern Florida in 2015. She was raised in the Miami area and fans were introduced to members of her spanish-speaking family in the MTV wedding special.
According to the marriage certificate from the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts, Solares was born in Cuba. It’s unclear when she and her family moved to the United States. A search of online records suggests Solares was issued a social security number in the mid-2000s.
Before meeting Tamburello, Solares worked as a model. The website Empire BBK shared a couple of photos from Solares’ modeling days and referenced a talent profile in which Solares expressed interest in commercial auditions. But there does not appear to be any active modeling profiles available online for Solares. It’s possible she gave it up after having son CJ.
3. Lilianet Solares & CT Tamburello Welcomed Son CJ in 2016
CT Tamburello said he moved to Florida to get involved in real estate. In 2015, he was even featured in a PBS Newshour report about investors flocking to the state in order to renovate and flip properties that had been foreclosed on during the housing crisis. According to records with the Florida Secretary of State, Tamburello currently owns a real estate investment business called the New Leaf Investments Group. He is the only registered agent affiliated with the company.
Tamburello has never fully disclosed how he met Lilianet Solares. But sparks clearly flew quickly. Solares gave birth to their son, Christopher “CJ” Tamburello Jr., in 2016.
Tamburello revealed to the world that he was a father in early 2017. MTV showed clips of Tamburello’s son on The Challange: Invasion without disclosing the child’s exact age. During that season, Tamburello was also seen on the phone with Solares, but the network did not disclose her name at the time. MTV identiifed her on-screen only as “CT’s girlfriend.”
4. Fans Witnessed Drama Between Lili Solares & CT Tamburello’s Family, as Well as With His MTV Castmates
The road down the aisle had its bumpy moments, as documented on The Challenge: CT’s Getting Married. Tamburello explained that there was long-running tension between Solares and his immediate family. Tamburello said he asked Solares to marry him one day before he left to film The Challenge. He did not call his parents to tell them he was engaged before leaving for the show.
Solares was not aware Tamburello hadn’t informed his family. She called them while Tamburello was away to begin planning the wedding. Solares ended up breaking the news of the engagement to her future in-laws, who were upset Tamburello had not told them himself. Tamburello described that confrontation as a “clash of the titans.”
In the wedding special, Tamburello traveled back to Massachusetts to make amends with his family. Solares even asked Tamburello’s sister, Vanessa, to be a bridesmaid, despite referring to Vanessa on-camera as a “brat.” Vanessa did not end up in the wedding party. But she and Tamburello’s mother did ultimately attend the wedding, along with Tamburello’s brother.
Before the nuptials, there was also some on-camera tension on display between Solares and the MTV castmembers. Challenge regulars Cara Maria Sorbello, Derrick Kosinski, Leroy Garrett, Shane Landrum, Tony Raines, and Wes Bergmann were among the wedding guests. They took Tamburello out for a bachelor party, and Solares was upset that the group was loud when they returned to the house. She scolded the group and reminded that that others, including her son, were sleeping.
5. Lili Solares & CT Tamburello Previously Laughed Off Divorce Rumors
“One of things I love about Lili is she doesn’t want the attention, it’s just about me and her. I appreciate that because I’ve been doing this for so long I have a different appreciation for privacy,” Tamburello explained. “Her and CJ, they’re like my sanctuary in my own little world. But moving forward, I’m so proud of these times of my life I want to share them with everybody. And Lili wants to come out of hiding, too.”
Solares may have been willing to come out of her shell, but that doesn’t mean she is as open as her husband. Tamburello often posts pictures of their son to Instagram, but Solares rarely appears on the feed. In an older photo, he tagged Solares as @lilianet_tamb1123, but that page has since been deleted.
In May 2019, Tamburello shared a video of Solares pouring drinks while they laughed about tabloid speculation they had separated. Tamburello wrote in the caption, “Rumor has it that we broke up… Weird how we were the last to find out about it.”