Chip and Joanna Gaines have a highly successful real estate business, and their show, Fixer Upper, is also highly successful. However, Chip Gaines is now being sued by his previous real estate partners for more than $1 million. They say that Gaines strong-armed them into selling their share of the real estate business to him for $2,500 each after he told them the business was worthless and going down the drain.
According to a report by People, Gaines is wondering why they took so long to say anything to him. Gaines stated that he has had the same cell phone number for 15 years and the same email address for 20 years, so they could have said something before this to him.
Gaines tweeted, “[Four] years later, ‘friends’ reach out via lawsuit, hmmm.”
Gaines’ former real estate partners are John L. Lewis and Richard L. Clark. The tweet by Gaines was posted two days after Lewis and Clark filed the lawsuit against him. According to these two so-called “friends” of Gaines, he talked them into selling their shares of the business without telling them that he had made a deal with HGTV about the show Fixer Upper. Now, the show is highly popular and successful.
Lewis and Clark’s lawyer states everything in the lawsuit is accurate and that they have a right to sue him. However, Gaines’ lawyer states that the lawsuit is meritless.
In fact, he stated, “We are confident that these claims will be found to be meritless and it is disappointing to see people try to take advantage of the hard work and success of Chip and Joanna Gaines.”
Their lawyer is Jordan Mayfield.
The real estate business was founded by Chip Gaines along with Lewis and Clark in 2007 in Waco, where it operated with one real estate agent. However, now Magnolia Realty has 93 real estate agents working it along with Chip and Joanna Gaines. It has become very successful over the years.
According to the lawsuit filed by former business partners of Gaines, Lewis, and Clark, Gaines talked them both into selling out without letting them know he had “insider information” about the deal with HGTV and the lawsuit states. Gaines described the business at the time as “less than worthless.”
The lawsuit also states that Gaines allegedly bought the plaintiff’s shares of the business on May 6, 2013, and that two days later, Gaines reportedly announced the deal he had with HGTV for the show Fixer Upper.
The lawsuit also states that Chip had revealed to his two former business partners about the deal through an email, and Gaines allegedly stated that he and Joanna had been working on the pilot for the show for almost one year.
Once the news about the lawsuit became public, Gaines tweeted a bible verse.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Chip Gaines is not the only one named in the lawsuit. They have also named Magnolia Realty, the company that owns HGTV, Scripps Networks, as well as High Noon Productions.
HGTV released a short statement to People that says, “We respect the privacy of our show hosts and will not comment on matters related to their personal lives or businesses.”
Also, according to ABC, when Lewis wasn’t going to sell his share at first, Gaines became threatening and allegedly texted Clark the following.
“You better tell Rick to be careful. I don’t come from the nerdy prep school he’s from. And when people talk to me that way they get their a**es kicked. And if he’s not ready to do that, he better shut his mouth. I’m not the toughest guy there is, but I can assure you that would not end well for Rick.”
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[Featured Image by Brian Ach/Invision/AP Images]