Who is Nick Hardy, Vanessa Villela's Boyfriend on 'Selling Sunset'?

The photographer and the former telenovela actress got engaged earlier this year.

nick hardy vanessa villela selling sunset
(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Love was in the air on this season of Selling Sunset, with several cast members making new connections or moving to the next steps of their relationships. Vanessa Villela showed up with a whole boyfriend in her second season on the show, with the former telenovela actress introducing her long-distance boyfriend Nicholas (Nick) Hardy, a.k.a. Tom Fraud, a photographer and creative director who lives in the U.K. By the end of the season, after Hardy gives Villela a promise ring in the Oppenheim office before heading back home, the realtor's at a crossroads whether or not to move to be with him.

In the months between season 5's filming in late 2021 and the show's premiere this April, the pair have gotten even closer (Hardy's IG profile picture is even a photo he took of Vanessa). Here's everything we know about the two-named mystery man.

He's a photographer who also goes by Tom Fraud.

According to his website, Hardy is a former creative director for one of London's biggest photo agencies, with years of experience. He also showcases his work on his Instagram account, with several of his recent photos featuring Villela.

A rep for Villela gave the Netflix website Tudum a longer explanation. "Tom Fraud is a play on words and a fictitious name representing art and freedom as a practice. Many artists support the concept and idea, which entices the art world to go against the tide, [of] charting your own path and daring to create and innovate," they said. Hardy has also used "fraud" as "a play on words to emphasize an artist's freedom to create without limitations," per the outlet.

He's the creative director of a lingerie brand.

The photographer and entrepreneur also has experience in the fashion industry. Hardy serves as creative director for the British lingerie brand Lascivious, which was first founded in 2004 and made a comeback after a few years' break in November 2021. Villela has also worked with the brand, partnering on a swimwear collection and serving as a frequent model.

His Instagram is a showcase for his work.

Hardy's Instagram is mostly an archive of his old work as a lingerie photographer. Lately he's been mostly mum, with his recent posts either showing his vacation with Villela—the two months in Mexico she mentioned on the show—and a post celebrating their engagement. He also shared a new photo shoot with Villela this week, along with a loving caption calling her his muse and future wife.

He and Vanessa got engaged last January.

Villela explained on the show that she and Hardy spoke online for three months before meeting in Mexico, and that they had been together for 10 months at the time of filming. Hardy upgraded Villela's promise ring to an engagement ring last January, proposing at LA's Griffith Observatory at sunset. Villela even shared a clip of the big moment to her Instagram, with a loving caption calling their love story a "movie" and saying that she feels like she "manifested" him since he's the type of partner she always wanted.

As for whether Villela ended up moving, she's still listed as an agent with the Oppenheim Group as of April 2022. With Sunset reportedly renewed for two more seasons, the realtor has a big choice to make. Hopefully the reunion will provide some answers. 

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.